History of the epidemic

Egypt is the country with the highest hepatitis C virus (HCV) prevalence worldwide, with 9.9% of the 15-59 years chronically infected in 2008 (El Zanaty, DHS, 2008), and a total burden of six million infections nationwide. By comparison, only 1% of adults in Western countries are infected.


The origin of the epidemic has been attributed to the mass campaigns of anti-schistosomiasis (bilharziasis) treatment carried out in the 1960s-1970s (Frank et al., Lancet, 2000). During these field campaigns, intravenous injections of tartar emetic were given to more than 7 million individuals above the age of 6 years. Due to insufficient sterilization of injection equipment, the HCV, unknown at that time, spread among individuals being treated. This mode of transmission ended in 1982, when oral praziquantel was introduced for the treatment of schistosomiasis. However, this did not stop the spread of HCV, as shown by the presence of infection in children born after 1982, and by the continued diagnosis of acute hepatitis C among hospital patients in Egypt (El Gaafary et al., J Med Virol, 2005). Transmission has persisted mainly through injections and medical procedures.




Introduction of Sofosbuvir in Egypt

In July 2014, Gilead and the Egyptian government signed an agreement for a treatment expansion of Sovaldi® (Sofosbuvir). Read more

Scientific Advisory Board Meeting

The Scientific Advisory Board Meeting was held in Paris February 15-16, 2013.

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