Hepatitis C, Public Health & Politics

WFSJ HCV website

Hepatitis C (HCV) is a crisis that in a way has crept up on us. Specialist doctors have been in the known of HCV for years, but because the virus initially was thought to cause only minor, acute health problems, it did not constitute grounds for concern among public health officials and politicians.

Only in recent years have more serious, long term effects come to light, making HCV one of the big killers globally - on par with HIV/AIDS.

What may be even more surprising is that most of these deaths are preventable thanks to a new treatment, which in its relatively short time of use appears to cure the infection.

The downside is that the cure is pricy and good data are lack­ing on how many are infected and in need of treatment on a global scale.

This essay will look at HCV in a public health and political context

Epidemic Unseen

- How a misconception of HCV became a public health crisis.

P's of Public Health

- The role of public health

Screening Strategies

- How to find those who are infected, but do not know it?

Challenges around Treatment

Price, who to treat, when

Throughout the text are questions for the inquisitive jour­na­list to ask