Dr Ahn is an associate professor of medicine at the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon. Dr Flamm is a professor of medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois.
In the United States, chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is the leading cause of blood-borne, virus-associated death related to advanced liver disease and the leading indication for liver transplantation. Although the diagnostic test for HCV has been available for more than 20 years, the majority of persons with HCV infection still have not received a diagnosis. This has led to a recent change in screening recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Moreover, new medications were approved in 2011 after nearly a decade of minimal progress in the development of treatments for HCV infection. This was followed by the highly anticipated approval of sofosbuvir and simeprevir in 201 3. In the past 3 years, there has been an explosion of reports on medications from different classes, promising a dramatic expansion to an all-oral regimen for the treatment of HCV genotype 1 infection within the next few years. This article reviews the current screening recommendations and standard of care for treatment of HCV infection and highlights specific agents in the pipeline that should change the landscape of how HCV infection is treated in the near future.