HCV eradication: a duty of the State, an option for the individual

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In recent years, the debate on ethical issues related to hepatitis C virus therapies has been focused on the problem of drug prices and access to therapies. Nonetheless, the goal of hepatitis C virus eradication set by the World Health Organization in 2016 is raising new ethical issues, since governments are faced with a new challenge: reaching through screening, diagnosis and treatment a large amount of subjects with undiagnosed hepatitis C infection. National governments, especially high-income countries with a Welfare State, are compelled to provide access to therapies, but also to involve those who are still unaware of their disease status. Since people cannot be forced but should be guided towards the choice of screening, diagnosis and treatment, three concepts will be instrumental in the success of any HCV elimination policy: involvement, communication and protection of vulnerable individuals. Given the importance of diagnosis and treatment both in terms of individual benefit and social benefit, while respecting individual freedom and autonomy, the government has a moral obligation to try to drive individuals on the path of therapy. Even if it fails to get a complete success, the hepatitis C virus eradication campaign will lead to a significant reduction in the incidence of the disease and it will convey a very important message: today more than ever public health interventions must be thought in a global perspective, far beyond the borders of National States.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Microbiology, Infectious diseases and Public Health. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology.
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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