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USPSTF Proposes New HCV Screening Recommendations

In late August, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued a new Draft Recommendation Statement entitled Hepatitis C Virus Infection in Adolescents and Adults: Screening, which calls for screening for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in all adults between the ages of 18-79 years. The Draft Statement incorporates new evidence and would replace the 2013 USPSTF recommendation, which recommends screening for HCV infection in persons at high risk for infection and one-time screening for HCV infection in adults born between 1945 and 1965.

According to the USPSTF’s Draft Statement, since 2013, the prevalence of HCV infection has increased in young people, and the HCV infection prevalence rates in older adults born between 1945 and 1965 remain relatively high. Therefore, the USPSTF concluded that broadening the age for HCV screening beyond its previous recommendation will identify infected patients at earlier stages of disease who could greatly benefit from effective treatment before developing complications.

The opportunity for public comment on the draft recommendation expires on September 23, 2019.

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