PRESS RELEASE

Hepatitis C Virus can be eliminated from Ireland by 2020, according to experts.

An estimated 60% of people with HCV remain undiagnosed.

An estimated 20,000-30,000 people are infected with chronic HCV infection in Ireland. Only half of those infected have been identified.  Injected drug use is now the main driver of the disease in Ireland and across Europe.

HCV or the Hepatitis C virus  is usually a “silent” infection for many years, until the symptoms of liver damage emerge.

A major conference organised by the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP)  on the elimination of HCV in Ireland by 2030 in Dublin today (Saturday February 16th) has heard how this target can be achieved, with GPs as part of an expanded prescriber base. The Conference is held at the Alex Hotel in Dublin.

“New medications called directing-acting antivirals have revolutionised HCV treatment in the past four years,” said Dr Des Crowley, Assistant Director, ICGP Substance Misuse Programme. “By the end of 2018, over 4,000 people have been treated with considerable success.”

“Over the past 18 months, treatment has moved from a primarily hospital-based setting to the community. This conference explores ways to engage hard-to-reach groups and how expanding the prescriber base to include GPs will help to optimise care.”

Dr Des Crowley is available for interview.

FULL PROGRAMME HERE

MEDIA QUERIES: Aileen O’Meara, Communications Consultant, ICGP

Tel. 087 2239830 / Email: media@icgp.ie

ENDS