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Web Process to Provide Timely Guidance in HCV Management

Living document developed, which will reside online and provide up-to-date recommendations

TUESDAY, June 30, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- -- A living document has been developed to aid practitioners treating patients infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV). A document update and a summary of recommendations have been published online June 25 in Hepatology.

Gary L. Davis, M.D., from the Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, and colleagues developed the guidance document, which will reside online and undergo real-time revisions to provide up-to-date recommendations for HCV care. The guidelines were developed by the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease (AASLD), in partnership with the Infectious Diseases Society of America and in collaboration with the International Antiviral Society-USA, and is available at hcvguidelines.org.

The researchers note that half of the estimated 2.2 to 3.2 million persons chronically infected with HCV in the United States are unaware that they are infected. HCV testing is recommended in select populations, based on demography, prior exposures, risk behaviors, and medical conditions; identification of those with active infection is the first step toward improving health outcomes and preventing transmission. Recommendations also include education about HCV, such as how to prevent liver disease; evaluation by a practitioner who is prepared to provide comprehensive management; therapy options for treatment-naive patients; and options for retreatment.

"The guidance is a living document that will continually be updated with evidence-based advice about how to best use the next generation of direct-acting antivirals and other treatment options," Keith Lindor, M.D., a professor at Arizona State University in Tempe and president-elect of AASLD, said in a statement. "Our role as associations of researchers and clinicians is to provide key information in the appropriate format to patients and those who care for them."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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