October 18, 2017
Researchers determined the prevalence and characteristics of hepatitis C viremia in the Democratic Republic of the Congo using dried blood spot viral load testing, according to a recently published study. Based on crude population estimates from 2016, the researchers expect 100,000 to 200,000 adults aged 40 years or older to be actively infected and eligible for treatment.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is one of the largest countries in Africa and has limited infrastructure, so the diagnosis and treatment of HIV is challenging. In order to reach people living with HIV in rural areas, the AIDS Control Program transports dried blood spot samples from across the country to several central laboratories, where HIV viral load testing is performed,” Jonathan B. Parr, MD, MPH, from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, told Healio.com/Hepatology. “We wanted to find a way to use this existing laboratory infrastructure to support the diagnosis and treatment of viral hepatitis.