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Hepatitis C Screening

Guideline Changes

Based on what I have read, the older version of the USPSTF and CDC recommendations for hepatitis C screening did recommend that all baby boomers get tested. According to Chung (2019), hepatitis C was five times higher in the baby boomer population than in any other age group when the recommendations were published in 2012. It was believed that more people in the baby boomer generation had experimented or used IV drugs during the 1970s and 1980s.

The CDC and USPSTF have both updated their recommendations. The CDC recommends universal Hepatis C screening in which all adults ? 18 years old should be screened for Hepatitic C at least once during their lifetime, unless there is a prevalence of <0.1% (Schielle et al., 2020). The USPSTF updated their recommendations to include all adults between the ages of 18 to 79 should be screened for hepatitis C (Owens et al., 2020). However, Schielle et al. (2020) reports that the number of cases of Hepatitis C infections increased every year from 2009 through 2017 and the highest rate of infections was in younger adults aged 20-39. According to the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases [AASLD] and the Infectious Diseases Society of America [IDSA] (2021) links the increase in hepatitis C among younger adults to the opioid epidemic and the increase in intravenous drug use. As a result, the CDC and USPSTF both expanded their recommendations to include adults ? 18. Risk Factors The AASLD and IDSA (2021) explains that risk factors include injection drug use, intranasal use of illicit drugs, use of a glass crack pipe. Men that have sex with men, people with HIV, incarcerated people, children born to women with hepatitis C, people on long-term dialysis, people that received a blood transfusion or organ transplant before July 1992, people that received clotting factors before 1987 are at an increase risk of hepatitis C. Healthcare providers, first responders, and other personnel that could be exposed to hepatitis C infected blood through a needlestick, sharp, or mucosal exposure are also at risk of hepatitis C. Ramifications of Missed Diagnosis and Treatment According to the CDC (2020), if hepatitis C is not treated the person is at risk of developing chronic hepatitis C that can cause liver disease, liver failure, live cancer, or even death.

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