The hepatitis C virus (HCV)
Leading cause of chronic liver disease. principal cause of death fromliver disease
An estimated 180 million people are infected worldwide.
In USA prevalence of HCV infection between the years 1999 and2002 was 1.6%,
Leading indication for liver transplan-tation in the U.S.
Mortal-ity related to HCV infection (death from liver failure orhepatocellularcarcinoma) will continue to increase over the nexttwo decades.