We are making progress in our understanding of the hepatitis C virus, but there is still a long way to go
The identification of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) in 19891 delineated a disease previously masquerading under the title of "non-A, non-B hepatitis". In the ensuing years, hepatitis C has become a national epidemic, with more than 150 000 Australians known to be infected. It is estimated that an additional 11 000 new infections occurred each year during the 1990s.2 Escalating rates of HCV infection will have enormous consequences, as 10%–15% of people infected have the potential to progress to end-stage liver disease, with all the implications that has for healthcare services in the years ahead.3
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