Hepatitis C & HIV
It is estimated that 4 out of 5 people infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) don’t know it. Hundreds of thousands of people die from the disease every year, and numbers are on the rise. The vast majority of those with HCV live in low- and middle-income countries, where health systems are weak and rates of diagnosis and treatment are very low.
With over 70 million people infected, HCV is one of the world’s most common infectious diseases. It is usually contracted through unsafe healthcare or injection drug use.
Where services exist, HCV screening and diagnosis remain largely centralized and siloed, due to a lack of simple, affordable tests. Existing diagnostics are too complex and/or too expensive for countries with limited budgets, weak health systems, or both.
Co-infection with HIV is common, and there is a critical need for appropriate, affordable HCV tests that can be integrated into HIV care pathways.
People who inject drugs are especially hard to reach: in many countries, drug use is criminalized, making it unlikely that people will access health services and thus continue to transmit the disease. Alongside affordable, point-of-care tests, decentralized diagnostics that can be deployed by harm reduction services are needed. Screening tests that can be used at the community level, outside of traditional healthcare settings, are also crucial to help to find these people.
In its viral hepatitis strategy, WHO has set 2030 as the target for the elimination of viral hepatitis as a major public health threat. To realize this ambition, 90% of people with HCV need to know their status.
We are working with our partners and donors on diagnostic solutions that can slow disease transmission, and reduce the morbidity, mortality and socio-economic impact of viral hepatitis at individual, community and population levels. Our activities are focused on three key areas.
- Supporting the development of affordable, fit-for-purpose diagnostics that can be used at the point of care and the community level.
- Facilitating access to diagnosis and enabling the prevention of infection by interventions including cost-saving, effective integration of HCV care into HIV diagnostics and public health programmes.
- Demonstrating the need and benefit of interventions for HCV by championing HCV prioritization in national agendas, and driving policy change and simplification of the HCV testing algorithm.
HCV & HIV R&D pipeline
|Catalyse Development||Guide Use and Policy|
|Self test (Orasure, Access Bio)||cAg RDT format (DCN, Mologic)||RNA (genedrive)||RNA capillary blood (Cepheid)|
|Serology RDTs for WHO PQ|
|RNA DBS for WHO|
|cAg test of cure (Abbott)|
|RDA Truenat (Molbio)|
Download our full R&D pipeline.