VA Poised to Eradicate Hepatitis C Virus - VA Western New York Healthcare System
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VA Western New York Healthcare System

 

VA Poised to Eradicate Hepatitis C Virus

Photo of Dr. Mahl

Dr. Thomas Mahl

Friday, June 21, 2019

Veterans under the care of the Veterans Health Administration,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. He added that “diagnosing, treating and curing hepatitis C virus infection among Veterans has been a significant priority for VA.”

According to Dr. Thomas Mahl, recently retired, former Chief of Gastroenterology at VA Western New York Healthcare System (VAWNYHS), “We are on our way to eradiating hepatitis C in the Veteran population” and that “with the tremendous financial support of the VA and the hard work of a dedicated team of providers, VAWNYHS has treated over 1,101 Veterans now with hepatitis C with a cure rate of 97%. The vast majority of these Veterans have been cleared of the deadly virus and are off to a better life.”

Because of this historic national VA effort, the overall death rate one year after treatment has been reduced by 80 percent among Veterans in VA care with HCV. Veterans cured of HCV with these medications were also 84 percent less likely to develop liver cancer. These clinical successes cement VA’s position as a national leader in diagnosis and treatment of HCV and marks a major milestone in the nation’s fight against viral hepatitis. VA is on track to treat more than 125,000 Veterans with these lifesaving medications by October 2019. Currently, fewer than 27,000 Veterans in VA care remain to be treated. Says Dr. Mahl, “there are no good hepatitis viruses – all must be eradicated.”

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