Surge in Youth HCV Presents Hepatologists With Tough Choices

Recently Mark S. Sulkowski, MD, of the John Hopkins University School of Medicine, in Baltimore, saw a teenage patient who had contracted hepatitis C after starting to shoot up as a 12-year-old.

The case is but one in a spike of new infections with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) being driven largely by an epidemic of injection drug use, particularly among adolescents and young adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Sadly, with the heroin epidemic, I’m increasingly seeing teenagers in my practice,” Dr. Sulkowski said earlier this year at the inaugural midyear meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

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