CDC Celebrates 25th Anniversary of the Discovery of the Hepatitis C Virus


Twenty-five years ago the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) played a pivotal role in the discovery of the virus that causes hepatitis C. After the isolation of HCV, implementation of screening of blood products and organs for donation led to a decrease in rates of HCV infection between 1990 and 2009. In spite of these successes, HCV still remains a serious threat, both domestically and abroad. HCV remains the most common chronic bloodborne infection in the United States, affecting approximately 3.9 million individuals. However, up to 50 percent of HCV-infected persons are unaware of their infection. Globally, there are 180 million people who are chronically infected with the virus, and 3 million to 4 million new infections occur every year.

Recent therapeutic advances hold the potential to halt the progression of HCV infection and disease. While HCV-infected persons can be effectively treated, more effort is needed to screen, diagnosis, treat and provide continuity of care. A Public Health Grand Rounds to be held on June 17, 2014, at 1 p.m. ET will discuss how new screening guidelines, testing methods and therapeutic advances will provide us with an opportunity to improve individual outcomes and to eventually eliminate HCV infection.

The Public Health Grand Rounds will be presented by:

John W. Ward, MD
Director, Division of Viral Hepatitis
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention, CDC
“The Epidemiology of Hepatitis C: How Did We Get Here?

David Thomas, MD, MPH
Stanhope Bayne Jones Professor of Medicine
Chief of Infectious Diseases Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
“Hepatitis C: The Curative Era”

Phillip O. Coffin, MD, MIA
Director of Substance Use Research
San Francisco Department of Public Health University of California San Francisco
“Steps toward Ending Hepatitis C in the U.S.”

The event will be facilitated by:

John Iskander, MD, MPH, Scientific Director, Public Health Grand Rounds
Phoebe Thorpe, MD, MPH, Deputy Scientific Director, Public Health Grand Rounds
Susan Laird, MSN, RN, Communications Director, Public Health Grand Rounds
Grand Rounds is available for continuing education. Learn more about continuing education on the Grand Rounds FAQ.

Source: CDC

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