Issue: 2019 > May > original article

Retrieval of chronic hepatitis C patients. A manifesto for action to eliminate hepatitis C in the Netherlands: the CELINE project

M. van Dijk, P.A.M. Kracht, J.E. Arends, H. Blokzijl, D.M. Burger, K.J. van Erpecum, B. van Hoek, R.J. de Knegt, D. Posthouwer, D. Ramsoekh, B.J.A. Rijnders, J. Schinkel, S.B. Willemse, M. van der Valk, J.P.H. Drenth, on behalf of the HepNed Study Group
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Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a global public health issue, which is associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality. The development of direct acting antivirals (DAAs) has transformed treatment: they offer us highly-effective therapy with superior tolerability compared to interferon-containing regimens. In 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) therefore adopted several ambitious viral hepatitis elimination targets, aiming for a 90% reduction in new infections and a 65% reduction in mortality by 2030. The ultimate goal is to eliminate HCV completely. It is reasonable that these goals may be achieved in the Netherlands due to the low prevalence of chronic HCV, the availability of DAAs, and excellent healthcare infrastructure. This paper describes a national effort to curtail the HCV epidemic in the Netherlands through an HCV retrieval and linkage to care project (CELINE: Hepatitis C Elimination in the Netherlands).