Acute hepatitis C in Taiwan
From January to the end of September, 2019, there were 488 cases of acute hepatitis C in Taiwan.
In 2018, there were 515 cases of acute hepatitis C.
In 2020, a plan to screen 123,520 people at 40 years old and above for hepatitis C will be implemented. This program will benefit 60,000 hepatitis C patients. The government hopes to eradicate hepatitis C completely by 2025.
Currently, the success rate of oral hepatitis C treatment is 97%. Between 2015 and 2018, a total of 73,000 patients have received oral hepatitis C treatment, and tests of 70,000 of them now show no further infection, indicating a success rate of 97%.
Of the current 45,000 patients who have been treated with oral hepatitis C medication, the cure rate is 98.5%.
In 2017, 9,538 patients were treated with oral hepatitis C medication, and the cure rate was 97%. In 2018, 19,549 patients were treated with oral hepatitis C medication, and the cure rate was 97.4%. In 2019, 44,342 patients were treated with oral hepatitis C medication, and the cure rate was 98.5%. In total, 73,429 patients were treated with oral hepatitis C medication, and the cure rate was 97.8%.
In Taiwan, many hepatitis C patients live in remote areas, and they are mostly seniors. Transportation for hospital visits is a major problem for them. Among these patients, discontinuation and abandonment of treatment are high. There is even a medical term for this. 就醫可近性不足，deficiency of nearness to medical care.
The Taoyuan district in Kaohsiung City has been determined by the Taiwanese health authorities as a high risk area for hepatitis C. This mountainous district has 1,073 residents according to the local household registry. In order to entice the residents to take blood samples, the medical teams offered laundry detergent and salad oil. Of the 1,073 residents, 1,067 of them gave blood for screening.
Over 20 years, the 5 Chang Gung Hospitals screened some one million people, and 88,000 of them showed a positive reading for hepatitis C. However, the rate of return of patients for continued treatment is only 2.2%.
There are 200,000 people affected with hepatitis C who do not know they have been infected.