Thursday, March 7, 2013

Testing for HCV and HCV prevention in Egypt

There is a strong misconception that testing people for HCV in Egypt is somehow going to result in the prevention of HCV transmission. This idea no doubt comes from the idea that testing is a screening tool for HCV infection and this information can somehow be used to prevent infection. For example in the US people are tested for TB and this can be used to control TB. Yes, but this only works in the US

The idea of testing for HCV as a tool for prevention is wrong. That is testing people for HCV will not prevent HCV transmission will not work. This is not a proven public health strategy. In fact, there is no publication that recommends testing for HCV as a prevention strategy.

In Egypt there is wide spread arbitrary testing for HCV especially by large businesses who will test persons applying for work. If they are positive they are refused employment. I know this is true for many of the big hotels because I ask employees and mangers who told me this. This is completely unjustified and should be made illegal.

People should go to there doctors if they feel ill or sick and if the doctor thinks this patient may have HCV then testing is appropriate.

Testing for HCV will not prevent HCV. It will only put people out of work.