Hepatitis C, stigma and cure.

The infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) is one of the most important global chronic viral infections worldwide. It is estimated to affect around 3% of the world population, about 170-200 million people. Great part of the infections are asymptomatic, the patient can be a chronic carrier for decades without knowing it. The most severe consequences of the chronic infection are liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma, which appears in 20%-40% of the patients, leading to hepatic failure and death. The HCV was discovered 25 years ago in 1989, is a RNA virus and classified by the World Health Organization as an oncogenic one. Hepatocellular carcinoma is one of the most important cancers, the fifth worldwide in terms of mortality. It has been increasing in the Ocidental world, mainly due to chronic hepatitis C. Hepatitis C is not only a liver disease and a cause of cirrhosis, but also a mental, psychological, familiar, and social disease. The stigma that the infected person sometimes carries is tremendous having multiple consequences. The main cause is lack of adequate information, even in the health professionals setting. But, besides the "drama" of being infected, health professionals, family, society and the infected patients, must be aware of the chance of real cure and total and definitive elimination of the virus. The treatment for hepatitis C has begun in the last 80's with a percentage of cure of 6%. Step by step the efficacy of the therapy for hepatitis C is rapidly increasing and nowadays with the very new medications, the so called Direct Antiviral Agents-DAAs of new generation, is around 80%-90%.
AuthorsRui Tato Marinho, David Pires Barreira
JournalWorld journal of gastroenterology (World J Gastroenterol) Vol. 19 Issue 40 Pg. 6703-9 (Oct 28 2013) ISSN: 2219-2840 [Electronic] China
PMID24187444 (Publication Type: Editorial)
Chemical References
  • Antiviral Agents
  • Access to Information
  • Antiviral Agents (therapeutic use)
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular (epidemiology, virology)
  • Cost of Illness
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic (diagnosis, drug therapy, epidemiology, psychology)
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis (epidemiology, virology)
  • Liver Neoplasms (epidemiology, virology)
  • Mental Health
  • Prejudice
  • Public Opinion
  • Quality of Life
  • Remission Induction
  • Stereotyping
  • Treatment Outcome

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