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Hepatitis C virus (HCV) remains a major public health concern. HCV, the most common blood borne infection in the US, is estimated to affect over 4 million Americans (about 1-2% of the population). Worldwide, over 170 million people are infected. Most Americans with HCV infection acquired it in the 1970s and 1980s, before the virus was identified. Although the rate of new infections declined between 1989-2011, there has been a recent increase in new infections since 2013. Unfortunately, there is no effective HCV vaccine at this time. The majority of people with acute HCV infection develop chronic infection; only 15-25% clear the infection spontaneously. Most individuals with chronic HCV infection are asymptomatic; some may experience nonspecific symptoms such as fatigue. Among those who were infected 10-30 years ago, about 50% remain undiagnosed. Consequently, a high percentage of infected people are unaware that they have HCV, can transmit it to others, and do not seek medical help or treatment.
HCV causes liver inflammation, resulting in advanced scarring (cirrhosis) in 10 to 20% of those infected. Chronic HCV infection is a leading cause of cirrhosis, liver cancer, and endstage liver disease requiring transplantation. In 2012, over 22,900 deaths related to liver cancer occurred in the US. From 1999 to 2013, the largest increase in liver cancer and deaths occurred in individuals born during 1945 through 1965 compared to other birth-year groups. Early detection and appropriate HCV antiviral treatment can reduce the risk of progressive disease and death...
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ACPE Universal Activity Number: 0428-0000-16-009-H01-P
Chief Editor and CE Administrator
Terry M. Baker, PharmD
Tracy Farnen, PharmD
James Chan, PharmD, PhD
Pharmacy Quality and Outcomes Coordinator
Associate Clinical Professor
Richard Ron Finley, B.S. Pharm.,R.Ph.
Consult Pharmacist Aging and Adult Health Services
Julio R. Lopez, PharmD, FCSHP
Adjunct Clinical Professor
Assistant Clinical Professor
Visiting Associate Professor and Lecturer
Pamela Mausner, MD
Helen Berlie, Pharm.D. CDE, BCACP
Ambulatory Care Specialist - Diabetes
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Gerard Hatheway, PharmD, PhD
Belinda M. Danielson, RPh
Christopher M. DeSoto, PharmD
Angie S. Graham, PharmD
Cynthia Chan Huang, PharmD, MBA
Fred Plageman, PharmD
Editorial Advisor and Clinical Practice Consultant for Nurse Practitioners
Meuleman, RN, C, MS
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