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January 2014
Top Story
From the President: New Website Provides Clinicians with Timely Advice on HCV
As ID specialists, we strive to use the latest information and tools, including diagnostics and drug regimens, to provide the best care possible to our patients and to share our expertise with fellow health care providers. A new website launched this week provides the most up-to-date guidance on appropriate care for practitioners who treat patients infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV). HCVguidelines.org, developed by IDSA and the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease (AASLD) in collaboration with the International Antiviral Society-USA (IAS-USA), offers evidence-based, consensus recommendations for the screening, treatment and management of patients with HCV.
 
This guidance, which is not available elsewhere, comes at a time when the field of treating the estimated 3-4 million Americans infected with HCV is rapidly changing. Recent changes in recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force regarding who should be tested for HCV are likely to increase the numbers of patients diagnosed with the infection and those who seek treatment. In addition, the latest generation of direct-acting antivirals has the potential to cure most patients with HCV; however, the rapid pace of drug development has left medical providers and insurance companies unsure of optimal treatments. 
 
HCVguidelines.org will be updated regularly to keep pace with improved diagnostic tools and new drug options as they meet Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. The panel of experts behind the site consists of 26 liver disease and/or infectious diseases specialists who base their recommendations on a rigorous review of data and includes IDSA co-chairs, Dr. Henry Masur and Dr. David Thomas, as well as a patient advocate. The panel will continue to provide updated recommendations as new research becomes available and new drugs are approved by FDA. 
 
The guidance offered through HCVguidelines.org comes at a time of great promise for patients living with HCV infection who will benefit from modern treatments that can result in a cure of their illness. This site is a great example of ID specialists working alongside other medical specialists to provide much needed insight into the most effective way of treating complex infectious diseases.


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