n South African Medical Journal - Should routine serological screening for HCV be mandatory in HIV/AIDS patients enrolling for HAART in South Africa? : scientific letters

Volume 100, Issue 12
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



Globally, an estimated 170 million people (about 3% of the world's population) have been infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV). HCV, a member of the Hepacivirus genus in the Flaviviridae family, possesses a single stranded, positive-sense RNA genome of approximately 9.6 kilobase (kb), and is the major cause of chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. In Africa, HCV prevalence ranges from <3% in South Africa to <20% in Egypt. In South Africa, there is a low prevalence from 0.16% to 1.8%, but this is higher in high-risk individuals, e.g. 39.4% in haemophiliacs and 4.8% in chronic dialysis patients.

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