Epidemiology and Clinical Characteristics of Individuals with Hepatitis C Virus Infection in the United States, 2017–2019

Nancy Reau, Mark S. Sulkowski, Emmanuel Thomas, Vinay Sundaram, Qingqing Xu, Wei Han Cheng, Steven E. Marx, Oscar A. Hayes, Shivaji R. Manthena, Viktor Chirikov, Douglas E. Dylla, Hannah Brooks, Jana M. Carabino, Sammy Saab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the most common bloodborne chronic infection in the US. Following approval of highly effective, direct-acting antivirals in 2014, the diagnostic and treatment rates for HCV infection in the US have evolved. This study assessed the number of individuals with HCV screening or diagnostic testing and the clinical characteristics and treatment of HCV-infected individuals between 2017 and 2019. Methods: Individuals screened for HCV antibody and/or tested for HCV ribonucleic acid (RNA) from 2017 to 2019 by two large US laboratory companies were included in this analysis. Clinical characteristics, such as HCV genotype, fibrosis stage, HIV coinfection and demographics, were assessed in HCV RNA-positive individuals. HCV treatment and subsequent achievement of sustained virologic response were imputed using data-driven algorithms based on successive viral load decline and negativity. Results: From 2017 to 2019, the number of individuals tested for HCV antibody increased by 5.7%, from 7,580,303 in 2017 to 8,009,081 in 2019. The percentage of individuals tested who were HCV antibody positive was stable, ranging from 5.0% in 2017 to 4.9% in 2018 and 2019. The number of HCV RNA-positive individuals decreased by 5.0% from 382,500 in 2017 to 363,532 in 2019. Of HCV RNA-positive individuals, the proportions with genotype (GT) 3 and minimal fibrosis increased over time; proportions of individuals aged < 40 years increased, while the proportion aged 50 to 59 years decreased. Treatment rates increased from 23.4% in 2017 to 26.8% in 2019. Conclusions: The percentage of HCV antibody-positive individuals remained stable from 2017 to 2019. The number of individuals tested HCV RNA positive decreased over the years. Demographics shifted toward a younger population with less fibrosis and higher rates of GT3. More than 70% of diagnosed individuals were not treated during this interval, highlighting a need for unfettered access to treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5777-5790
Number of pages14
JournalAdvances in Therapy
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Epidemiology
  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Screening
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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