The World Health Organization (WHO) has published new guidelines for the care and treatment of persons diagnosed with chronic hepatitis c virus infection. The organisation says the new guidelines will enable major simplifications in the delivery of curative therapy to the 70 million people living with chronic hepatitis C (HCV) in the world.
It recommends offering treatment to all individuals diagnosed with HCV infection who are 12 years of age or older, irrespective of disease stage. In children aged less than 12 years, the guidelines advise that interferon-based regimens should no longer be used. However, it acknowledges that, prior to approval of direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) for children under 12 years of age, exceptional treatment with interferon and ribavirin may be considered for children with genotype 2 or 3 infection and severe liver disease.
Pangenotypic DAA regimens are recommended for the treatment of people with chronic HCV infection aged 18 years and above.
In adolescents aged 12-17 years or weighing at least 35kg, the WHO recommends:
- sofosbuvir/ledipasvir for 12 week in genotypes 1, 4, 5 and 6;
- sofosbuvir/ribavirin for 12 weeks in genotype 2; and
- sofosbuvir/ribavirin for 24 weeks in genotype 3
The release of the guidelines coincided with World Hepatitis Day.