Updated HBV prevalence estimates are now available on Polaris Observatory

For the past two years the Polaris Observatory has conducted literature reviews in index and non-index journals, as well as grey literature (including ministry of health reports) to quantify the HBV disease burden. Meetings with over 60 countries were completed and the findings were populated in the PRoGReSs HBV model.

The most recent estimates of HBV prevalence and disease burden by country is now available on the Polaris Observatory (Link). In 2017, we estimate there are 278 million (244 – 322 million) HBsAg+ individuals corresponding to a prevalence of 3.74% (3.29-4.34%). In 5 year olds, the global prevalence is estimated at 1.8 million (1.5 -2.1) corresponding to 1.34% (1.28%-1.77%). The new estimate takes into account new updates made to country level data on prophylaxes, treatment, and prevalence rates as well as an updated disease burden model. “HBV treatment and diagnosis rate is much higher than we had anticipated,” says Devin Razavi-Shearer, the lead for HBV at Polaris. We have also been surprised how common treatment with lamivudine is globally. This drug continues to be used in many countries for treatment of HBV, despite the well know risk of resistance. In addition, we were surprised to see how much HBIG is used globally. Given the complaints about high cost and the requirement for refrigeration, we anticipated low usage rates. In fact, many countries manufacture HBIG locally with costs $15 or less per dose. “We will be publishing the result later this year reporting our findings,” according to Razavi-Shearer. In addition, we will post the requirements to achieve the elimination targets.

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