The survey results suggest a wide variation in existing national testing policy and practice when it comes to hepatitis B and C – with overall limited monitoring of testing, diagnosis, and treatment across EU/EEA Member States. Many respondents expressed a need for Europe-wide practical guidance on how testing initiatives should be conducted, evaluated, and monitored.
An estimated 9 to 10 million Europeans have been infected with the hepatitis B (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the countries of the European Union and European Economic Area (EU/EEA), and many are unaware of their infection. ECDC undertook two surveys to evaluate needs and priorities to inform a Guidance on HBV/HCV testing and screening in the EU and to assess the availability of monitoring data on the HBV and HCV epidemic against the core indicators defined in the WHO Regional Action Plan to eliminate viral hepatitis by 2030. 20 (65%) and 21 (68%) Member States responded to the two surveys.
The results suggest a wide variation in HBV/HCV testing policy and practice across the EU/EEA showing significant gaps in available testing guidance and a lack of national monitoring programmes regarding all aspects of testing, diagnosis, treatment, morbidity, and mortality.