Dueling doctors over HCV screening


 The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is a group that makes recommendations to  primary care physicians about preventative care.  For example, they grade health screening tests with  A , B, C, or D.   They recently made a controversial recommendation on the CDCs HCV testing for the birth-cohort.  They gave HCV screening for drug users and transfused patients, “B” offer service;  they gave screening the birth cohort, a  “C”.  

Clinicians may provide this service to selected patients depending on individual circumstances. However, for most individuals without signs or symptoms there is likely to be only a small benefit from this service.

The Infectious Diseases Society of America  has protested the “C” on their website and in a strong letter.

An estimated 75% of HCV-infected persons in the United States were born between 1945 and 1965 and that cohort has an HCV prevalence (4%) that is more than five-fold higher than persons
born in other years. The prevalence of HCV infection in this birth-cohort is similar to the prevalence among persons with a transfusion before 1992(6%), which is one of the groups for
whom you gave a “B” grade for screening (3-5). Therefore, the magnitude of the overall health benefit is comparable for both populations and both should have the same ranking of “B”.

The military cohort is completely ignored by both  Unfortunately, public comments are now closed.  HCV testing should be inclusive for all populations who were vaccinated prior to 1992.  The millions of jet-gun delivered vaccinations and other unsafe injection practices are the elephants in the rooms.

Note:  For HIV however, the USPSTF recommends that everyone ages 15-65 be tested.

UPDATE:  3/19/15  HCV testing is now rated “B” by the USPSTF. (LINK)

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One Response to Dueling doctors over HCV screening

  1. randy says:

    What Uncle Sam fails to realize is that the vast majority of us with HCV will not just go live under a rock until such time as we become fertilizer. Deny all they want, the time is coming!

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