Hepatitis C - Cure of Infection

Published on October 31, 2016   26 min

Other Talks in the Series: Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Welcome. This is Dr. Mark Mailliard, and I am here to discuss Hepatitis C, Cure of Infection. I am the Paustain Professor and Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, department of Internal Medicine at the University of Nebraska, College of Medicine in Omaha.
Let us begin today by discussing the major milestones of the identification and therapy of hepatitis C virus. In 1989, workers at Chiron successfully identified the hepatitis C RNA virus for the first time. This was incredibly important because it led to what we take for granted in our ability to identify infection. By 1992, the molecular identification of hepatitis C had advanced to where the United States blood supply was safe. This was so important because prior to this, the United States blood supply and blood supply throughout the world had hepatitis C virus as a contaminant. Also, in 1992, The FDA in the United States approved Interferon as therapy for hepatitis C. By 1998, the CDC in the United States recommended screening of all patients at-risk for hepatitis C. These were patients that they identified having risk for blood borne infections, usually through risky behavior involving needle sticks. By 2007, the deaths in the United States from hepatitis C infection exceeded those deaths from HIV infection. In 2013, the CDC and the United States Public Services Task Force recommended screening based only upon the age, the age of being in the birth cohort, what's called Baby Boomers, those born between 1945 and 1964. And finally, that brings us to our talk today, the remarkable appearance of the All-Oral Direct Acting Antivirals for curing hepatitis C. In the winter of 2013 and 2014, medication became available that has completely changed our ability to cure this infection.