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01.12.2017 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

BMC Infectious Diseases 1/2017

Current challenges and possible solutions to improve access to care and treatment for hepatitis C infection in Vietnam: a systematic review

Zeitschrift:
BMC Infectious Diseases > Ausgabe 1/2017
Autoren:
Alessandra Berto, Jeremy Day, Nguyen Van Vinh Chau, Guy E. Thwaites, Ngoc Nghiem My, Stephen Baker, Thomas C. Darton

Abstract

Background

Hepatitis C infection is a major public health concern in low- and middle-income countries where an estimated 71.1 million individuals are living with chronic infection. The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently released new guidance for hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment programs, which include improving the access to new direct-acting antiviral agents. In Vietnam, a highly populated middle-income country, the seroprevalence of HCV infection is approximately 4% and multiple genotypes co-circulate in the general population. Here we review what is currently known regarding the epidemiology of HCV in Vietnam and outline options for reducing the significant burden of morbidity and mortality in our setting.

Methods

We performed a systematic review of the currently available literature to evaluate what has been achieved to date with efforts to control HCV infection in Vietnam.

Results

This search retrieved few publications specific to Vietnam indicating a significant gap in baseline epidemiological and public health data. Key knowledge gaps identified included an understanding of the prevalence in specific high-risk groups, characterization of circulating HCV genotypes in the population and likely response to treatment, and the extent to which HCV treatment is available, accessed and utilized.

Conclusions

We conclude that there is an urgent need to perform up to date assessments of HCV disease burden in Vietnam, especially in high-risk groups, in whom incidence is high and cross infection with multiple genotypes is likely to be frequent. Coordinating renewed surveillance measures with forthcoming HCV treatment studies should initiate the traction required to achieve the WHO goal of eliminating HCV as a public health threat by 2030, at least in this region.
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