Prevention, testing and treatment
Essential interventions to prevent the transmission of new HBV and HCV infections include:
- implementing programmes for childhood immunization against HBV;
- screening donated blood for HBV and HCV;
- putting in place practices for infection prevention and control, including safe injection practices; and
- targeting vulnerable populations by implementing integrated and diversified harm-reduction programmes including opiate substitution treatment.
Testing and treatment
Most of the people living with chronic viral hepatitis are not aware of their status. Scaling up testing and diagnosis will allow patients to benefit from effective treatment and thus avoid the risk of developing serious liver damage. Rapid progress has been made in developing treatments in recent years, making it possible to cure chronic HCV infection in more than 90% of patients and effectively to control chronic HBV infection. The very high cost of such treatments, however, makes them too expensive for most who need them.