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Recommendations for the Identification of Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Infection Among Persons Born During 1945–1965

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Recommendations for the Identification of Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Infection Among Persons Born During 1945–1965

Recommendations for the Identification of Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Infection Among Persons Born During 1945–1965

Please note: An erratum has been published for this article. To view the erratum, please click here.

Recommendations and Reports

August 17, 2012 / 61(RR04);1-18

Prepared by
Bryce D. Smith, PhD1
Rebecca L. Morgan, MPH1
Geoff A. Beckett, PA-C, MPH1
Yngve Falck-Ytter, MD2
Deborah Holtzman, PhD1
Chong-Gee Teo, MD, PhD1
Amy Jewett, MPH3
Brittney Baack, MPH3
David B. Rein, PhD4
Nita Patel, PhD6
Miriam Alter, PhD5
Anthony Yartel, MPH6
John W. Ward, MD1
1Division of Viral Hepatitis, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
2 Case Western Reserve University, Case and VA Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio
3Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, Oak Ridge, Tennessee
4NORC at the University of Chicago, Atlanta, Georgia
5University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas
6Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Foundation

Corresponding preparer: Bryce D. Smith, PhD, Division of Viral Hepatitis, 1600 Clifton Rd, NE, MS G-37, Atlanta, GA 30329. Telephone: 404-639-6277; Fax: 404-718-8588; E-mail:


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is an increasing cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Many of the 2.7–3.9 million persons living with HCV infection are unaware they are infected and do not receive care (e.g., education, counseling, and medical monitoring) and treatment. CDC estimates that although persons born during 1945–1965 comprise an estimated 27% of the population, they account for approximately three fourths of all HCV infections in the United States, 73% of HCV-associated mortality, and are at greatest risk for hepatocellular carcinoma and other HCV-related liver disease. With the advent of new therapies that can halt disease progression and provide a virologic cure (i.e., sustained viral clearance following completion of treatment) in most persons, targeted testing and linkage to care for infected persons in this birth cohort is expected to reduce HCV-related morbidity and mortality. CDC is augmenting previous recommendations for HCV testing (CDC. Recommendations for prevention and control of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and HCV-related chronic disease. MMWR 1998;47[No. RR–19]) to recommend one-time testing without prior ascertainment of HCV risk for persons born during 1945–1965, a population with a disproportionately high prevalence of HCV infection and related disease. Persons identified as having HCV infection should receive a brief screening for alcohol use and intervention as clinically indicated, followed by referral to appropriate care for HCV infection and related conditions. These recommendations do not replace previous guidelines for HCV testing that are based on known risk factors and clinical indications. Rather, they define an additional target population for testing: persons born during 1945–1965. CDC developed these recommendations with the assistance of a work group representing diverse expertise and perspectives. The recommendations are informed by the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) framework, an approach that provides guidance and tools to define the research questions, conduct the systematic review, assess the overall quality of the evidence, and determine strength of the recommendations. This report is intended to serve as a resource for health-care professionals, public health officials, and organizations involved in the development, implementation, and evaluation of prevention and clinical services. These recommendations will be reviewed every 5 years and updated to include advances in the published evidence.

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