The success of global strategies to eliminate hepatitis C as a public threat by 2030 depends on local country-wide activities of all involved stakeholders, the most important being general practitioners (GP) and the entire country population. The opinion of currently diagnosed patients can help stakeholders to plan further actions such as addressing new target groups. Our aim was to determine the experiences, opinions, and attitudes of viral hepatitis C (VHC) patients towards the hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and corresponding healthcare services in Latvia. Questionnaires were distributed by nurses in hospitals of major cities in Latvia. The survey results highlighted the importance of the role of the general practitioner and time from diagnosis to specialist consultation. The majority of respondents were not aware of VHC symptoms, although they were informed about possible complications such as liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. The major VHC patient pool was not composed of drug users, but people who never used narcotics, highlighting the importance to increase VHC awareness in other risk groups and in the general population. Consequently, targeted VHC screening programmes are essential tools in achieving elimination of HCV infection as a public threat in Latvia. The action plans should be updated regularly aiming to strengthening of the GP role and shortening time to consultation with a specialist.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Proceedings of the Latvian Academy of Sciences. Section B. Natural, Exact, and Applied Sciences.|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 2022|
Field of Science*
- 3.2 Clinical medicine
- 3.3 Health sciences
- 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database