Over 800,000 Americans diagnosed with hepatitis C virus (HCV) have advanced enough disease to meet the “high” or “highest” priority status for treatment—a figure that jumps to 1 million when factoring in all people living with the virus, aidsmap reports. Researchers made these estimates based upon data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), covering 2003 to 2010, and the Chronic Hepatitis Cohort Study (CHeCS). They presented their findings at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases in Boston (AASLD).

According to AASLD guidelines, in the event of limited financial resources, the highest priority for treatment should be given to those with advanced fibrosis or compensated cirrhosis and to liver transplantees. High priority individuals include those with moderate fibrosis and those with more minimal fibrosis who have other particular health problems or who run the risk of complications because of hep C.

An estimated 2.7 million Americans are HCV positive. (This figure is limited because it is based on a household survey that does not include those in prison or the military, for example.) Out of 1.35 million who have been diagnosed, an estimated 813,000 have had their fibrosis level measured and are at high or highest priority. When including all “non-institutionalized” Americans, an estimated 1 million should be prioritized for treatment under current guidelines.

To read the aidsmap story, click here.