Research provides an evidence base for the development and implementation of policies and programs at all levels of the national response to hepatitis C.
The main branches of research contributing to reducing the impact of hepatitis C are basic scientific research and virology, epidemiology, clinical research, and social and behavioural research. Collaboration between these research subspecialties is needed to expand understanding of hepatitis C, including the economic impact of actions and inactions.
Of particular importance is the meaningful involvement of affected communities in research activities, including partnership in setting the research agenda. Future research needs to be clearly linked to the needs of affected communities.
Priority actions in research
- Facilitate communication between basic scientific and virology, epidemiology, clinical, social and behavioural researchers and policy and program providers at the national, state and territory level and affected communities so that the evidence base is developed and appropriately applied.
- Maintain a balance between strategic research (to guide the development of the national response, including policy formulation and health promotion activities) and investigator-driven research (to respond to unique contexts and circumstances).
- Prioritise socio-behavioural and clinical research to identify methods of overcoming the barriers to prevention, testing, diagnosis, treatment and management of hepatitis C, including identifying preferred models of care.
- Continue translational research to improve understanding of hepatitis C pathogenesis, antiviral resistance for emerging therapeutic agents and prevention strategies (including vaccine development).
- Enhance capacity for collaborative clinical research that evaluates potential improved treatment regimens, particularly those that reduce treatment duration.