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Clinical experience of patients with hepatitis C virus infection among Australian GP trainees

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Since March 2016, new direct-acting antiviral agents (DAAs) for treating infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) have been available in Australia under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). This represents a revolution in the treatment of hepatitis C, as DAA regimens have cure rates of more than 90%, minimal adverse effects, and low treatment complexity. In contrast to previous HCV treatments, general practitioners are authorised to prescribe HCV DAAs. The Fourth National HCV Strategy emphasises that, to maximise the impact of HCV DAAs, most HCV treatment will need to move from hospital-based clinics to the primary care setting.1

An estimated 230 000 Australians live with chronic HCV infection,2 with annual notification rates about twice as high among males as among females, and highest for people aged 30–50 years.3 Eliminating hepatitis C as a public health problem by using highly efficacious, well tolerated DAAs is possible, but would require a major increase in the number of people treated.4

Registrar Clinical Encounters in Training (ReCEnT) is a prospective cohort study that collected detailed data on more than 150 000 consultations by GP trainees in five Australian GP training programs during 2010–2015. ReCEnT documents the content of trainees’ consultations, and both informs…