Since September 2016, hundreds of staff from MSF have been providing care for patients with hepatitis E, in the region of Salamat, Chad.


There are five types of hepatitis virus (designated A, B, C, D and E), which are of particular concern because of the morbidity and mortality they cause, and the epidemic outbreaks they can cause. Type B and C viruses, in particular, cause chronic hepatitis in hundreds of millions of people, and are the most common cause of cirrhosis and liver cancer.

From jaundice to HCV: hepatitis, the silent killer

Initially called "non A, non B", the hepatitis C virus was discovered in 1989. Before being formally named and identified, it managed to spread, thanks in particular to the development of blood transfusions, which at the time were poorly controlled.

Hepatitis in the world

A, B, C, D or E... hepatitis is present on every continent. Hepatitis C is mainly found in Africa and Central and Eastern Asia.

A fearsome killer that attacks the liver

After contamination via the bloodstream, the hepatitis virus attacks the liver. Once inside its cells, it multiplies, alerting the immune system, which then destroys all infected cells. In cases of chronic infection, this process can lead to cirrhosis.

Effective but expensive treatments

New molecules have recently appeared on the hepatitis C front. Although promising, this new generation of drugs remains out of reach for many patients due to its prohibitive price.

A revolution in the treatment of hepatitis C

For all patients, the recent discovery of new antiviral drugs represents a major step forward. But because of their high price, their use is rationed.


In the United States, sofosbuvir costs $1,000 per tablet, or $84,000 for a three-month course of treatment; in Luxembourg, the price for one course of treatment is 52,000 euros per patient. However, studies estimate its production cost at a few hundred dollars per treatment.

In 2014 and 2015, Gilead sold sofosbuvir for over $15 billion worldwide.