The science for rapid treatment initiation for hepatitis C virus infection is in place. Easy and quick diagnostic tools can provide results within an hour. Necessary assessment before treatment initiation is now minimal and manageable. Treatment has a low dose burden and high tolerability. Although the critical components for rapid treatment are accessible, certain barriers prevent wider utilization, including insurance restrictions and delays in the health care system. Rapid treatment initiation can improve linkage to care by addressing many barriers to care at once, which is essential for achieving a care plateau. Young people with low health care engagement, finitely engaged people (eg, those who are incarcerated), or people with high-risk injection drug behavior, and thereby high risk for transmission of hepatitis C virus, can benefit the most from rapid treatment. Several innovative care models have demonstrated the potential for rapid treatment initiation by overcoming barriers to care with rapid diagnostic testing, decentralization, and simplification. Expanding these models is likely to be an important component for the elimination of hepatitis C virus infection. This article reviews the current motivation for rapid treatment initiation for hepatitis C virus infection and published literature describing rapid treatment initiation models.
Rapid treatment initiation for hepatitis C virus infection: Potential benefits, current limitations, and real-world examples
Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 18 (11), 628-638.