The Micro-Elimination Approach to Eliminating Hepatitis C: Strategic and Operational Considerations

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Abstract

The introduction of efficacious new hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatments galvanized the World Health Organization to define ambitious targets for eliminating HCV as a public health threat by 2030. Formidable obstacles to reaching this goal can best be overcome through a micro-elimination approach, which entails pursuing elimination goals in discrete populations through multi-stakeholder initiatives that tailor interventions to the needs of these populations. Micro-elimination is less daunting, less complex, and less costly than full-scale, country-level initiatives to eliminate HCV, and it can build momentum by producing small victories that inspire more ambitious efforts. The micro-elimination approach encourages stakeholders who are most knowledgeable about specific populations to engage with each other and also promotes the uptake of new models of care. Examples of micro-elimination target populations include medical patients, people who inject drugs, migrants, and prisoners, although candidate populations can be expected to vary greatly in different countries and subnational areas.

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