An associate of the Penn Center for Viral Hepatitis, Vincent Lo Re III, MD, MSCE, specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. In this video, Dr. Lo Re discusses how HCV affects the body, patient populations at increased risk, and potentially curative HCV treatments available at Penn Medicine.
"Direct acting oral treatments are available," Dr. Lo Re explained. "These therapies typically only require 8 to 12 weeks of once-daily pills, have few side effects and result in greater than 94% chance of curing chronic Hepatitis C."
Patient education and counseling is a critical focus of the Penn Center for Viral Hepatitis.
"We perform a comprehensive evaluation, focusing on hepatitis C and liver health, providing detailed education about all aspects of HCV infection — including a proper diet — to avoid liver infections," Dr. Lo Re continued. Additionally, Penn uses cutting edge treatment technology to diagnose fibrosis and cirrhosis. "Our Fibroscan® imaging machine noninvasively measures liver scarring, so we can accurately evaluate and treat any liver damage."
Patient populations at increased risk for contracting HCV who should be screened for infection include baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1965); transfusion recipients (before 1992); patients who have had hemodialysis; patients who have used injection or intranasal street drugs; and children of HCV-infected mothers.
The Penn Center for Viral Hepatitis specializes in hepatitis C and HIV-HCV co-infections. A section of the Division of Infectious Disease, the Clinic is comprised of physicians, nurses, pharmacists and behavioral counselors.