Hepatitis C is considered one of the most neglected diseases in world. Worldwide about 150 million people are chronically infected by hepatitis C virus (HCV), and 60% to 70% of them will develop severe liver disease. This article describes Brazil's response to hepatitis C, from the first steps in 1993 to a national program in 2002. We reviewed the available literature, most of it in Brazilian Portuguese, and compiled them in order to share this experience with those seeking some pragmatic solutions. After 12 years, the national program has achieved universal coverage of treatment, resulting in saved lives and resources for the health system. There is abundant evidence that the HCV epidemic deserves attention. The overall consequence of long-term HCV infection is a negative impact on the health care economy. The Brazilian experience can be adapted to many countries in the world, in compliance with the 2010 World Health Organization World Health Assembly Resolution.
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