Although Italy has been on track for Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) elimination since 2019, it fell off track due to the decrease in the number of treated patients. HCV elimination in Italy will be possible if immedi-ate action is taken. A health policy was implemented beginning in 2021, consisting of screening among key populations and birth cohorts (1969-1989), estimated to have a high prevalence of undiagnosed in-dividuals. The active screening requires regional governance that manages the processes' complexity in-tegrating a well-organized network between territory assistance and hospital to achieve an effective HCV care cascade. This document aims to support the regional decision-making process by defining paths for screening and linkage-to-care. Implementing active screening strategies beyond a risk-based approach is required as a General Practitioners' task. Simplified paths must be drawn for the key populations screen -ing. The infrastructure built for COVID-19 vaccination could be used also for HCV screening. According to a multidisciplinary care delivery, screening should be supplemented with rapid linkage-to-care and treat-ment of newly diagnosed patients. The realization of the proactive screening during the first two years is vital because it will define the tracks for the whole HCV cost-effective screening of 1948-1988 birth cohorts in Italy.

Milestones to reach Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) elimination in Italy: From free-of-charge screening to regional roadmaps for an HCV-free nation

Alessio Aghemo;
2022

Abstract

Although Italy has been on track for Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) elimination since 2019, it fell off track due to the decrease in the number of treated patients. HCV elimination in Italy will be possible if immedi-ate action is taken. A health policy was implemented beginning in 2021, consisting of screening among key populations and birth cohorts (1969-1989), estimated to have a high prevalence of undiagnosed in-dividuals. The active screening requires regional governance that manages the processes' complexity in-tegrating a well-organized network between territory assistance and hospital to achieve an effective HCV care cascade. This document aims to support the regional decision-making process by defining paths for screening and linkage-to-care. Implementing active screening strategies beyond a risk-based approach is required as a General Practitioners' task. Simplified paths must be drawn for the key populations screen -ing. The infrastructure built for COVID-19 vaccination could be used also for HCV screening. According to a multidisciplinary care delivery, screening should be supplemented with rapid linkage-to-care and treat-ment of newly diagnosed patients. The realization of the proactive screening during the first two years is vital because it will define the tracks for the whole HCV cost-effective screening of 1948-1988 birth cohorts in Italy.
HCV chronic infection
WHO elimination targets
Birth cohort screening
Key population
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11699/66026
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