This year marked the beginning of a new era in the hepatitis C world. In June, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued recommendations to screen adults born between 1945 and 1965 for hepatitis C. This test is a preventive service with no cost to the individual.
Two new anti-viral drugs were approved this year, one of which is the first all-oral treatment of hepatitis C. Gilead Sciences’ Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) is interferon-free for genotypes 2 and 3. The FDA sanctioned a broader application of sofosbuvir, opening the door for all-oral hepatitis C treatment for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer) who are waiting for a liver transplant AND for genotype 1 patients who cannot use interferon.
On a more personal note, this is the year that I was cured from hepatitis C. I lived with this virus for more than 25 years and endured three treatments for it. I am bursting with hope for the rest of you who are reaching for a cure.
Wishing you a happy, healthy, and hopeful New Year.