Do we need expert hepatitis C virus treaters or are amateur treaters good enough?

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Book Chapter

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Though hepatitis C treatment has been simplified in the last 8 years with the introduction of direct-acting antivirals (DAAs), there remains a large gap in the continuum of care for treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, in both developed and low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs) with limited resources. Of the estimated 71 million people infected globally with HCV, 14 million (20%) have been diagnosed, and only 1.1 million (7%) had been started on treatment as of 2017. One of the largest gaps in the continuum of care, which obstructs the escalation of HCV treatment worldwide, is a lack of trained providers to treat HCV. In many countries, HCV treatment is limited to specialists, but it has been demonstrated that general practitioners can be trained to treat HCV safely and effectively. This concept is called task-shifting, and is vital to expanding hepatitis C treatment globally.