Division of Infectious Diseases, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA. email@example.com
We are entering an important new chapter in the story of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. There are clear challenges and opportunities. On the one hand, new HCV infections are still occurring, and an estimated 185 million people are or have previously been infected worldwide. Most HCV-infected persons are unaware of their status yet are at risk for life-threatening diseases such as cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), whose incidences are predicted to rise in the coming decade. On the other hand, new HCV infections can be prevented, and those that have already occurred can be detected and treated--viral eradication is even possible. How the story ends will largely be determined by the extent to which these rapidly advancing opportunities overcome the growing challenges and by the vigor of the public health response.