Research shows that most veterans with hepatitis C could be cured in the next three years.
New research by Veterans Affairs (VA) Puget Sound Health Care System and the UW suggest that most veterans currently diagnosed with hepatitis C could be eradicated of the disease within the next three years.
George Ioannou leads the hepatology department at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System and is an associate professor of medicine at the UW. On Nov. 14, Ioannou presented his findings to the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases in Boston.
In the United States, veterans are the largest demographic with hepatitis C, with most of the affected having been born between 1945-1965. Within the VA healthcare system, 175,000 veterans are diagnosed with hepatitis C, and an estimated 45,000 are yet to be diagnosed.
“Most veterans who have hepatitis C are Vietnam-era veterans,” Ioannou said.
At the time of their service, hepatitis C was largely unknown and there were no tests to screen for it. The virus was identified in 1989 after the HIV/AIDS epidemic shed light on blood-borne disease.
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