Globally, over 58 million people are estimated to have hepatitis C virus (HCV). Despite the availability of all-oral, short-course direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) that treat all HCV genotypes, nearly half a million people die from this preventable, curable infection each year.
TAG has been at the forefront of a global HCV education and advocacy movement, working in collaboration with affected communities, scientists, government, and pharmaceutical developers to make life-saving information, high quality and affordable testing and cures, and supportive environments for underserved populations universally available. This includes tracking the pipeline for HCV innovations, including the latest pangenotypic treatments, diagnostics, and long-acting injectables, and increasing communities’ diagnostics and treatment literacy. Globally, TAG provides technical assistance to build leadership capacity for advancing national elimination campaigns and amplifying community voices—especially those of key populations such as people who use and inject drugs, sex workers, prisoners, migrants, and men who have sex with men—in planning and policy development.
TAG aims to overcome barriers to access—from limited donor funding for HCV, to drug and alcohol abstinence requirements imposed by governments and payers, to patent and pricing barriers, to limited voluntary licensing and delays in drug registration by patent holders. TAG advocates for harm reduction and drug decriminalization efforts, including support for overdose prevention and safe consumption sites because injection drug use without access to safe materials is a major factor in HCV transmission.
In the U.S., TAG’s policy team works at the national level: advocating for viral hepatitis funding, championing coverage for people who use drugs, incarcerated or otherwise marginalized people, expanding access to point-of-care testing, strengthening national surveillance and supporting community engagement. TAG’s advocacy helped advance coverage for universal adult HCV screening and removal of Medicaid prior authorization requirements, catalyzing New York State’s commitment to eliminate HCV—the first in the nation!—with TAG participating in the resultant statewide HCV Elimination Task Force.