Biology ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 7-15-2020


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a global epidemic that has been increasing for decades, afflicting millions of people who inject drugs (PWID) and is a major cause of liver disease. With novel direct-acting antivirals, treating the virus has become possible yet elimination remains out of reach. Prior research has shown significant differences in disease progression between men and women. These differences can lead to variation in incidence or what proportion of infections progress to chronic infections. We develop a mathematical model that accounts for potential differences between the sexes to evaluate the impacts on HCV transmission. We find that susceptibility is the strongest predictor of prevalence over time, but spontaneous clearance can lead to prevalence reductions, especially in women, when susceptibility is low. Finally, we test three hypothetical populations and discover that applying treatment against a natural bias in the population may prove more efficient than equal application.




hepatitis, math model, sex-structured, hcv, hepatitis c virus

Document Type


Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

UNM Biology Department

First Committee Member (Chair)

Dr. Helen Wearing

Second Committee Member

Dr. Matthew Hurteau

Third Committee Member

Dr. Kimberly Page

Included in

Biology Commons