Cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, and liver transplantation are among the most serious potential sequelae of hepatitis C, a viral illness that affects more than 3 million US adults. Often asymptomatic until the disease converts to chronic form, HCV is diagnosed through lab studies that include an HCV antibody screen, an HCV RNA assay, and genotyping. Currently available treatments make it possible to eradicate the disease in many patients, and promising new developments are being investigated. Primary care providers play an important role in managing patients with HCV throughout testing, treatment, and follow-up.
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