Just 20 percent of people infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) begin the recommended treatment regimen and less than 5 percent go on to successfully overcome the virus, according to a new review in General Hospital Psychiatry. This is despite the availability of highly effective anti-viral drugs that clear hepatitis C virus in about 80 percent of patients participating in clinical trials. Major barriers to recommended care are substance abuse and depression in HCV patients.
Other barriers to treatment include patients’ attitudes toward treatment, including a fear of the side effects associated with some of the anti-viral drugs and an inability or unwillingness to abstain from drugs or alcohol, which is required for successful treatment.
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