New Issue Brief: Who Has Access to Hepatitis C Testing? Liberate Our Diagnostics!



Accurate, high-quality data on the hepatitis C virus (HCV) continues to be a struggle for countries that are scaling up testing services and linking people to treatment and care, as part of implementing their national hepatitis plans. There is very little in-country information about the availability and pricing of HCV diagnostics and how licensing and pricing barriers may affect how governments determine coverage of testing services. Crowd-sourced data from the free, public database, mapCrowd, has been collected by 60 mapCrowd contributors.

Data includes estimated out-of-pocket costs compared to monthly GNI per capita, price of pangenotypic direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) by select countries, estimated cost to test-and-treat per country, and the availability and pricing in public and private sectors of the following HCV tests:

  • Lab-based enzyme immunoassays (EIAs)
  • Antibody rapid diagnostics tests (RDTs)
  • Dried Blood Spot (DBS) testing
  • Quantitative and qualitative HCV viral load polymerase chain reaction (PCR) • Nucleic acid testing (NAT) DNA/RNA platforms
  • Core antigen
  • Genotyping
  • FibroScan liver disease staging tests

Advocacy demands include:

  • Simplify the diagnostics pathway and increase patients’ linkage and retention in care
  • Ensure transparency of pricing on the total costs of diagnostics and service/maintenance costs for instrument-based platforms
  • Prioritize the development of dried blood spot protocols and submit them for stringent regulatory authority approval; and point-of-care RNA and HCV core antigen tests with acceptable diagnostic accuracy
  • Include community and civil society organizations in the design, research, and implementation of diagnostics, which could address affordability, simplicity, and community-friendly testing settings.

More information about HCV diagnostics is available in the Activist Guide to Hepatitis C Virus Diagnostics and training curriculum, available at: