Published online Aug 28, 2017. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v9.i24.1040
Peer-review started: May 4, 2017
First decision: June 15, 2017
Revised: June 19, 2017
Accepted: July 14, 2017
Article in press: July 17, 2017
Published online: August 28, 2017
Despite having a relatively low prevalence in the Iranian general population, the burden of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is on the rise, and hepatitis C is predicted to be the most important leading cause of viral hepatitis-related mortality in the near future in Iran. The recent population-based epidemiological studies have revealed the predominant role of injecting drug use in increasing prevalence of HCV infection. Undoubtedly, new management paradigm is required to drive down the rising wave of hepatitis C in Iran. Priority should be given to young injecting drug users as the cornerstone of the lurking epidemic of HCV infection in Iran.
Core tip: Iran is known as a low-endemic country for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, while the recent population-based epidemiological studies have revealed the increasing burden of HCV infection in the Iranian population. The asymptomatic nature of HCV infection and the undiagnosed HCV-infected injecting drug users have fueled this increase. Obviously, the current management paradigm is inadequate if control of HCV infection is aimed to be achieved.