The management of chronic viral hepatitis C (HCV) infection is facing revolutionary change. New treatments are becoming available which offer highly effective regimens, lasting for shorter periods of time and with more tolerable side-effect profiles. It is not uncommon now to hear it suggested that HCV could be eradicated.1
HCV is a chronic infection with a long and unpleasant standard treatment regimen, which has seen its management frequently becoming the role of the specialist nurse. As a consequence, the UK has specialist nurses offering high quality care to people with HCV in outpatient departments, substance misuse services and prisons.
Nevertheless, some detractors are suggesting that new therapies may sound the death knell of the viral hepatitis nurse specialist. On the contrary, it could be argued that there has never been a better time for nurses working in viral hepatitis. The next few years will see radical changes in the management of HCV – and the holistic abilities of these nurses, their dynamism and their established skills mean they will have an important role to play.
A global disease