A Statement from Dr. Koop

Some years have passed since the initial information on HCV was entered here. We are happy to provide an update. This has been a considerable effort , because of the dramatic advances in our knowledge in so many aspects.

The number of new HCV cases may slowly come down. However, for the decades to come, we will face tremendous challenges with respect to those who are infected and who may have very advanced disease or developed hepatocellular carcinoma.

The therapeutic options for HCV have dramatically improved. We can now cure the disease in some 40-80% of patients. However, side-effects preclude treatment in too many. Current therapies are still interferon based (associated with severe side effects), but alternatives are rapidly emerging and subject of clinical trials worldwide. They may provide much better tolerable therapy in a decade or less.

As your former surgeon-general with an eye on preventative opportunities, I wanted to draw attention to a few aspects than should be subject of awareness campaigns:

I hope this info on HCV will serve all in this country and beyond.

C. Everett Koop, MD