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Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Specialty

Infectious Diseases

Advisor

Elyse Watkins

Abstract

Worldwide there are an estimated 71 million people infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV). In the United States, the overall prevalence of chronic HCV is ~1.7% with intravenous drug use the most common risk factor. The burden of HCV is increasing in women of child bearing age potential mirroring the opioid use epidemic seen in the US. Optimal management of this population and during pregnancy remains a challenge. The rising burden of disease warrants further consideration for universal screening during pregnancy. Obstetric care provides a prime opportunity to identify women and infants at risk for HCV and link them to care. The purpose of this article is to review the most recent literature with regard to the evolving epidemiology of HCV in women of childbearing age and pregnancy with the aim of assessing if current risk-based screening recommendations merit revision.

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