Review article: current gaps and opportunities in HBV prevention, testing and linkage to care in the United States-a call for action. Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics Yeo, Y. H., Nguyen, M. H. 2020


The World Health Organization (WHO) has set an elimination goal for hepatitis B virus (HBV) by 2030, so a comprehensive review of current HBV testing and care gaps are needed to help formulate solutions and opportunities for action.To summarise current gaps and barriers, and to propose solutions for HBV prevention, testing and linkage to care in the United States METHODS: Relevant guidelines and studies were reviewed including a systematic review of HCC surveillance adherence.A total of 64.5 million (95% CI, 61.3-67.5) high-risk US adults had no evidence of HBV immunity. Only 18.6% (95% CI, 13.5-29.9) of privately insured patients with HBV infection have been diagnosed. Among those with known HBV infection, linkage to care rate (33.3%-57%) was poor and the adherence to guidelines regarding anti-viral therapy (30.66% [95% CI, 30.28-31.03]) and HCC surveillance (8%-87%, from a systematic review) were poor with even more concerning data for care and treatment retention. The causes are complex and include lack of access to medical care, lack of physician knowledge, lack of patient health literacy and awareness, linguistic and cultural barriers and fear of stigma.A 'scale-up' effort is needed to optimise the care continuum to achieve the WHO 2030 targets. As targeted screening policy has leftover 80% of patients undiagnosed, we advocate for universal screening which can help to remove barriers regarding stigma. More active and system level interventions are also needed to improve linkage to care for patients with HBV infection.

View details for DOI 10.1111/apt.16125

View details for PubMedID 33222252