Purpose of review
The aim of this article is to highlight the unique challenges for hepatitis B virus (HBV) cure faced in resource-limited settings (RLS) in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), where access to disease prevention measures, medical testing, and treatment are limited.
SSA RLS face challenges, which need to be anticipated as HBV cure research advances. There is a paucity of data because of lack of HBV surveillance and limited access to laboratories. Interruption of transfusion-transmitted infections, perinatal mother-to-child-transmissions, and transmission in people-who-infect-drug networks has not been achieved fully. Although RLS in SSA are within the epicenter of the HIV pandemic, unlike for HIV, there is no population-based testing for HBV. Public health response to HBV is inadequate with concomitant political inertia in combatting HBV infection.
A functional HBV cure will improve the diagnosis/treatment cascade, decrease costs and accelerate HBV elimination. There is a concerted effort to find a HBV cure, which will be finite, not require life-long treatment, adherence, and continued monitoring. Increased research, improved financial, infrastructural and human resources will positively impact on implementation of HBV cure, when available. We can emulate major strides made in tackling HIV and the strength of advocacy groups in soliciting policymakers to take action.