Hepatitis C Virus Guideline Updated for Unique Populations

The hepatitis C virus (HCV) guidelines for unique populations have recently been updated. These guidelines provide new testing and management recommendations for pregnant women, individuals who inject drugs, men who have sex with men (MSM), and individuals who are incarcerated. Pharmacists can play an important role in managing these unique populations as part of the healthcare team.

Annual HCV testing is recommended for sexually active HIV-infected adolescents, and adult MSM.1 Acute HCV infections have been recently reported in HIV-uninfected MSM who present for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).1 Therefore, HCV testing is important at PrEP initiation and at least annually.1 Pharmacists can play an important role in counseling patients regarding HCV prevention strategies including the use of condoms with all sex acts. Patients should also be educated that PrEP therapy can prevent sexual transmission of HIV, but it does not protect against HCV or other sexually transmitted infections. Patients infected with HCV should receive DAA treatment with ongoing counseling regarding the risk of reinfection.

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