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98% cured from 45,000 patients involved in Hepatitis C Elimination Program

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, February 1
(TBILISI)--Head of Georgia’s Disease Control Centre Amiran Gamkrelidze says that the 98 percent of the patients who got involved in the Hepatitis C Elimination Program launched in 2015, were cured from the virus.

Gamkrelidze said 1,400,000 people have been screened for Hepatitis C.

“About 10-11 percent were positive on the virus and they were sent for additional laboratory analyses, as being positive does not mean that the individual needs treatment. Sometimes a person is naturally cured from the virus and the screening shows positive anyway,” Gamkrelidze said.

He stated that the Program was now focused on revealing the virus as many, who refuse to undergo screening or could not find time for it, may not know that they have Hepatitis C.

“The virus does not reveal itself for many years,” Gamkrelidze said.

He stated that the Program aims to screen about 1,800,000 people in the following three years.

“Our final goal is to screen the whole population to totally defeat the illness,” Gamkrelidze said.

Through the partnership with the American company Gilead, the Georgian Dream government launched a large-scale Hepatitis C Elimination Program in 2015.

The program aims to make Georgia a Hepatitis C-free country by 2020.

Gilead now provides Georgia with the medicine Harvoni for free.

Typically Harvoni costs $110,000 as a minimum per -person for one course of treatment.

Georgia had one of the highest estimated virus prevalence rates in the world, affecting 6.7 percent of the population.