Polaris now includes HCV epidemiology data and elimination targets for select US states through a project sponsored by the CDC Foundation

This year CDC Foundation sponsored a program with the Polaris Observatory to quantify HCV disease burden and forecast the requirements to achieve the hepatitis elimination targets in five states – California, Louisiana, New York, Washington and Ohio. In-line with micro-elimination programs being promoted by the EASL Foundation, this program examined the requirements to achieve the WHO hepatitis elimination at the state level. The study found that the diagnosis rate in these states was higher than the national estimates (60-80% already diagnosed) and incidence of HCV was also higher than national estimates (22-60 as compared to 9 per 100,000). It also found that harm reduction programs, screening, and treatment need to be expanded, and that treatment restrictions need to be removed to achieve the elimination targets.

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The Polaris team met with experts from the department of health and, when available, representatives from Medicare and the Department of Corrections in each state to collect data and model HCV burden. As part of this project, we collected, cleaned (aged, removed deaths and cured) the state registry data to estimate total diagnosed and studied the size, percent infected, and reported deaths among people who inject drugs (PWID) to estimate incidence of HCV. We also assessed the requirements to achieve elimination in each state – expansion of harm reduction programs (to reduce incidence), screening, and treatment. The level of harm reduction programs varied between states but all needed to expand their programs to reduce the incidence of HCV. We found that treatment rates ranged between 3-8% among these states and a treatment rate of 5-8% is required to achieve WHO targets for hepatitis elimination. Nearly all states had already expanded screening programs, but those programs needed to be maintained and further expanded to continue to find new cases. Finally, the study found that the elimination targets could not be achieved unless treatment restrictions were removed. California, Louisiana, and Washington permitted us to post the findings on the Polaris website, while Ohio and New York preferred to wait until additional state level analyses were completed. The Polaris website already contains data for Colorado and Rhode Island. The findings of this project were presented at the Viral Hepatitis Summit meeting in Atlanta sponsored by the Viral Hepatitis Action Coalition. A copy of the presentations, agenda, and a list of attendees can be downloaded on-line (http://viralhepatitisaction.org/Hepatitis-B-and-C-Elimination-Summit).

Polaris Observatory was developed by:  
Made possible through funding from:
John Martin Foundation

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