Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus infection with an estimated 180 million infected individuals worldwide. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection may lead to liver failure and cancer of the liver. In 2004, in view of the improved treatment options, the Dutch Health Council again recommended that the groups at risk of HCV infection should be tracked down and informed, and that epidemiological studies should be conducted. Currently, there are few data on the prevalence of HCV infection in the Netherlands. HCV risk groups are (former) injecting drug users, haemodialysis patients and haemophiliacs, people treated with blood or blood products before 1992, people who have undergone certain invasive or medical procedures with insufficiently sterilised instruments, household contacts and partners of HCV-infected individuals and children born to HCV-infected mothers. Insight into the epidemiology of HCV infection in the Netherlands is necessary so that reliable estimates of the magnitude of hepatitis C as a public health problem can be made. Several projects for the detection of HCV infected individuals and epidemiological studies have started in 2007.