Hepatitis C in Latin American Populations

A researcher on treatments for influenza and hepatitis, Robert Hindes, MD, is a consultant for a number of pharmaceutical companies in New England. Some of Dr. Robert Hindes’ most notable activities include research on entecavir, a treatment for hepatitis B, and sofosbuvir, an FDA-approved treatment for hepatitis C.

In Latin American countries, hepatitis C is at the forefront of political policy and medical research. With countrywide spending on the disease up from $14 million in 2002 to $92 million in 2010, Brazil is a prime example of this emerging trend. This is in combination with a lack of diagnoses in Latin American countries such as Mexico, where only an estimated 4 percent of hepatitis C cases have been diagnosed.

Additionally, a new study conducted at Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University showed that within the United States Latino population, certain demographics are more prone to the virus. The study showed a 12-percent rate of infection among individuals of Puerto Rican descent compared to a 2-percent infection rate in those of Mexican descent, a 1.5-percent rate among Dominicans, and 1-percent rate among Central Americans.

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