Progress towards eliminating hepatitis C as a public health problem by 2030 in England continues, according to the latest report from UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).
Latest modelling suggests that 92,900 people were living with hepatitis C in the UK at the end of 2021 – a decline of 47.2% since 2015. Thanks to increased testing and curative treatments, the UK is on track to achieve 2030 WHO elimination goal for hep C based on current trends.
The report found:
- Three out of 4 people people with hepatitis C (HCV) are recorded as engaged in care. Once engaged, 90% initiate treatment.
- 93,000 people in the UK were living with chronic HCV in 2021 (modelled estimates). This is a 49% reduction from 2015.
- Provision of needles and syringes (NSP) remains a challenge and has been impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
- HCV mortality and morbidity in the UK have reduced since 2015 likely a result of increased access to direct-acting antivirals (DAAs).
- At the current rate of decline in prevalence, the UK should meet the World Health Organization (WHO) elimination target by 2030. However, less than half of people who inject drugs who have ever had HCV are aware of their diagnosis.
- This impacts new infections and reinfections. Around 4% of people who have been treated for HCV have a re-infection.
Rachel Halford, CEO of The Hepatitis C Trust, said:
“Thanks to government investment in an innovative elimination programme for hepatitis C, we are within reach of eliminating the virus before 2030 in England. To stay on track to reach this goal, we are in need of a hepatitis strategy to ensure that we are able to reach every at-risk population in the country, save more lives and maintain the elimination of both hepatitis C and B once reached.
“Treatment for hepatitis C has never been easier and 95% of people are able to clear the virus after just a few months of taking medication. If you are worried about hepatitis C, our message to you is simple: get tested, get treated, get cured.”