Globally, over 71 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, and nearly half a million people die from this preventable, curable infection.
The HCV Project has been at the forefront of a global HCV education and advocacy movement, working in collaboration with affected communities, scientists, government, and drug companies 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 drugs, sex workers, prisoners, migrants, and men who have sex with men—in planning and policy development.
TAG’s HCV Project aims to overcome barriers to access—from limited donor funding for HCV, to sobriety and adherence restrictions imposed by governments and payers, to patent and pricing barriers, to limited voluntary licensing and delays in drug registration by originator companies. The HCV Project advocates for harm reduction and drug decriminalization efforts, including support for overdose prevention and safe consumption sites, as 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 local, state, and national levels: advocating for viral hepatitis funding, championing coverage for people who use drugs, incarcerated or otherwise marginalized people, encouraging volume-based pricing deals for DAAs, strengthening national surveillance and supporting community engagement. TAG’s advocacy helped advance coverage for universal adult HCV screening and drive New York State’s commitment to eliminate HCV—the first in the nation!—with TAG participating in the resultant statewide HCV Elimination Task Force.