Sunday, February 8, 2015

February Newsletters: HCV Treatment, Research, Forums and More

February Newsletters: HCV Treatment, Research, Forums and More

Hello everyone, here in Michigan it's a cold Sunday afternoon, hope its warmer in your part of the world.

Welcome to this month's collection of newsletters, published by a small group of volunteers dedicated to spreading awareness and information to people living with viral hepatitis. 

Grab a beverage, sit back and read up on current therapies to treat hepatitis C, a bit of research, and plenty of news. 


Updated Feb 11 to include HepCBC newsletter


The hepc.bull, has been “Canada’s hepatitis C journal” since the late 1990′s and has been published nonstop since 2001. The monthly newsletter contains the latest research results, government policy changes, activities and campaigns you can get involved in, articles by patients and caregivers, and a list of support groups plus other useful links.

February, 2015 hepc.bull
· Your Patient Input Needed at Federal level for new interferon-free, ribavirin-free BMS combo daclatasvir (Daklinza)+asunaprevir (Sunvepra): deadline midnight, February 24th - page 1

· More patient input needed for BC Pharmacare coverage of GSK drug to fight Low Platelets, eltrombopag (Revolade - in USA 'Promacta'): deadline midnight, February 15th - page 1

· VANCOUVER HepCBC OUTREACH OFFICE opening soon! Watch website for details about Grand Opening in March! - page 5

· Study shows importance and benefits of Early Treatment - page 3

· Thousands attend Protest March in Madrid, SPAIN to urge their government to provide hepatitis treatment for all who need it - page 1

· Healthcare Rationing: Treatment delayed is Treatment Denied: Sacrifices have to be made by all stakeholders, not only by Patients - page 2

· Membership in HepCBC now FREE - page 1

· HepCBC joins with Doctors without Borders (MSF); signs letter urging pharmaceuticals to make HCV treatment accessible to all in order to eradicate disease from the world - page 3

VALENTINES SPECIAL...Sexual Transmission Facts and Research, Who to tell about your HCV Status and How to talk about your HCV Status to your Partner! - page 4

· GIPA & MIPA, important parts of the HCV (Patient Rights) MANIFESTO - page 5

· Full text of HCV Manifesto - French version here now, other translations coming soon - page 6

· Honour Roll of people cured of hepatitis C - hope your name is on it soon!

· Conferences, Medication Assistance, Compensation

View all newsletters, here.

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The HCV Advocate newsletter is a valuable resource designed to provide the hepatitis C community with monthly updates on events, clinical research, and education

HCV Advocate News & Pipeline Blog
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HCV Drug Pipeline Updated
We have recently updated our Drug pipeline—Quick Reference Guide & Detailed Reference Guide. As you will see the HCV pipeline is very robust with many new studies. The current treatments can cure more than 90% of people who can access treatment. There will be even more drugs approved in 2015 and beyond so the future looks incredibly bright.
Quick Reference Guide
Detailed Reference Guide

HCV Advocate Newsletter
February 2015

In This Issue:

Hepatitis C Treatment and Pregnancy
Lucinda K. Porter, RN
This article discusses issues that hepatitis C-positive women of childbearing age face, especially when considering treatment. 

Triple Drug Regimens, Exclusivity Deals, Merck & Gilead Updates
Alan Franciscus, Editor-in-Chief
Read about virological response after 6 week triple-drug regimens, exclusivity deals between insurance companies/pharmacies and AbbVie and Gilead, Merck's development of a two-drug single pill therapy (grazoprevir/elbasvir) and Gilead's pan-genotypic single pill combination of sofosbuvir/GS-5816. 

Alan Franciscus, Editor-in-Chief
Fatigue or feeling tired is the most common symptom of hepatitis C. It is also the most common extrahepatic (occurring outside of the liver) condition of hepatitis C.

Predictors of Treatment Response
Alan Franciscus, Editor-in-Chief
In the past, there were many factors that predicted successful treatment outcome. Today, that list is much longer and is somewhat dependent on the particular HCV inhibitor used to treat hepatitis C. This article is about the negative predictors of treatment response—genotype, subtype, cirrhosis, prior treatment response and viral load.

Lucinda K. Porter, RN
Read about reinfection, treatment failure and quasispecies; chronic HCV and low muscle mass; the prevalence of cirrhosis in the U.S.; cognitive function in children with chronic hepatitis C, and the impact of HCV on patients with alcohol dependency. 

What's New
Alan Franciscus, Editor-in-Chief

Updated Fact Sheets
Pregnancy Drug Categories
Genotype 1: VIEKIRA PAK Therapy

Online Crossword Puzzle
After you read the newsletter try completing this crossword puzzle to see how much you remember!
HCV Advocate Eblast
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In Case You Missed It  - HCV Advocate: Mid-Month Edition

In This Issue:
Genotype 2: Prevalence, Cure and Viral Diaspora
Alan Franciscus, Editor-in-Chief
In the past genotype 2 and 3 information has been lumped together. More recent information has emerged that there are clear differences between these 2 genotypes with respect to prevalence, disease progression and treatment cure rates. 

AASLD 2014: Ledipasvir and Sofosbuvir in African Americans
Alan Franciscus, Editor-in-Chief
In this the last of my presentations on AASLD 2014, I review "The Safety and Efficacy of Ledipasvir and Sofosbuvir in African Americans: A Retrospective Analysis of Phase 3 Data," by L Jeffers et al. Read more...

Alan Franciscus, Editor-in-Chief
This month I review 2 artcles on treating HCV in HIV/HCV coinfected individuals: The risk of decompensation in those with mild fibrosis, and antibody dynamics following acute infection and reinfection. 

The Five: The Flu
Alan Franciscus, Editor-in-Chief
This year's strains of influenza are particularly virulent, and unfortunately the vaccine developed this year does not provide protection against all of the strains. The flu is a nasty virus that causes 36,000 deaths and 200,000 hospitalizations each year in the United States. 

Jacques Chambers, CLU
The federal government as well as eleven states plus the District of Columbia have enacted laws providing protection to employees who must be off work due to a medical condition of their own or that of a family member. 

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HBV Journal Review
by Christine M. Kukka

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Our newsletter is sent out for free electronically on the 1st of every month.
Our mission is to educate the general public about hepatitis C and to provide resources and support for those affected by the virus. Hep C Connection offers a helpline to answer your questions regarding hepatitis C (HCV). You can expect respect, patience & understanding, in clear, jargon-free language from our staff & volunteers. Call 1-800-522-HepC (3972) to speak with a hepatitis C counselor.

January Newsletter

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The primary goal of the Caring Ambassadors Program is to help individuals with challenging health conditions to become ambassadors for their own health. We are here to help you—that is now and always will be our singular focus.


Caring Ambassadors Program Hepatitis C Newsletter
Review of the Most Relevant Research on Hepatitis C

February 2015

Caring Ambassadors is excited to announce the release of Hep C Discussion Point™.  Try this free powerful and interactive online tool for people living with hepatitis C !

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Hep is an award-winning print and online brand for people living with and affected by viral hepatitis. Offering unparalleled editorial excellence since 2010, Hep and are the go-to source for educational and social support for people living with hepatitis.

New In February
February 4, 2015
Patients First: HCV and Depression
by Alan Franciscus

February 06, 2015
UnitedHealth Prioritizes Hepatitis C Drug Harvoni
United is the last of the top three U.S. health insurers to strike a hep C deal.

February 05, 2015
Intercept NASH Drug OCA Gets FDA Fast-Track Status
The drug has been shown to help reduce markers of liver inflammation and fibrosis, as well as increase insulin sensitivity.

February 03, 2015
FDA Approves Software to Determine Liver Disease Severity
California-based biotech Hepatiq LLC developed the new tech tool.

> More Hep News

Lucinda K. Porter, RN
Author, Hepatitis C Advocate, Health Educator
click here to enter
Last Entry: Hepatitis C Genotype 3: Hard to Have, Hard to Treat(2015-02-02 06:06:11)
Genotype 3 is not only the most treatment-resistant, it is the most aggressive type of hepatitis C.

Kim Bossley
Hepatitis C Advocate and Co-Founder, The Bonnie Morgan Foundation
click here to enter
Last Entry: Relationships and Hepatitis C Part 3 - Children in the family (2015-02-07 19:44:44)
Living with someone with Hep C is extremely difficult. Things that come easy for me such as walking up a hill, or remembering things became a task for my mom that could not be done

Connie M. Welch
Passionate Encourager for Christ, Writer, Speaker, and Hep C Warrior
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Last Entry: Hep C News: Gilead's Hepatitis C Treatment - One Pill For All Genotypes in the Works (2015-02-03 05:48:06)
Gilead Sciences announced Jan. 26, 2015, that they have expanded their generic licensing agreements to include the investigational NS5A inhibitor GS-5816, which is under evaluation in Phase 3 clinical trial studies as part of a single tablet regimen which combines the compound and Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) for the treatment of all six genotypes of hepatitis C.

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Liver Lowdown is the monthly general interest e-newsletter of the American Liver Foundation.

January 2015
February Newsletter Coming Soon.....

Excessive alcohol consumption can destroy your liver. That isn’t news to most people. What may come as surprise, however, is that in certain cases, liver disease caused by alcohol can be reversed.

There are three types of alcohol-related liver disease. One is Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease or Steatosis, which results from increased fat accumulation in liver cells and may begin the process of liver scarring or fibrosis.

“Most heavy drinkers will have some degree of fatty liver disease,” says John Polio, MD, clinical professor of medicine at the University of Connecticut and a hepatologist affiliated with the Yale Liver Transplant Unit. “While you don’t want to get to the point of having any liver damage as a result of alcohol consumption, alcoholic fatty liver disease is potentially reversible by abstaining from alcohol.”

Alcoholic Hepatitis is characterized by fat formation, inflammation and early scarring of the liver. In its milder forms, the damage can be potentially reversed with abstinence. In its most severe forms, however, serious complications can occur, including liver failure and death.

Alcoholic Cirrhosis is the most advanced type of alcohol-related liver disease with extensive scarring and disruption of the normal structure of the liver. This condition cannot be reversed. Many individuals with advanced cirrhosis will experience complications such as fluid retention (ascites), gastrointestinal bleeding from abnormal veins (varices), confusion (hepatic encephalopathy) or development of liver cancer. Some individuals will benefit from a liver transplant but may not be eligible until a period of abstinence has been attained.

People do not necessarily progress sequentially through the three stages of alcohol-related liver disease. Some may advance from fatty liver disease to alcoholic hepatitis but others will first present with cirrhosis.

“The concern is that many people will not have symptoms of liver disease until significant liver damage has occurred,” adds Dr. Polio. “Blood tests may show that liver function is normal and it is only when patients experience symptoms that the extent of liver damage becomes known.”

The fact that some forms of alcohol-related liver disease are reversible doesn’t offer a free pass to drink irresponsibly. Your liver is a filter for everything you put in your body. Alcohol is a toxin and overconsumption taxes the liver. Alcohol may worsen other pre-existing liver diseases. Over time, your liver can give out.

Like everything else, moderation is key. For those without liver disease and other health problems, here are some guidelines for safe drinking:

Women and men over the age of 65, who are healthy, may consume one drink per day, which can be a 12-ounce beer, five ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor. Men under the age of 65 may safely consume two drinks per day. However, since an individual’s susceptibility to the toxic effects of alcohol may vary by many factors including age, gender, genetics and coexistent medical conditions, it is reasonable for you to review alcohol use with your physician.

For more information about alcohol-related liver disease visit the American Liver Foundation website 

This is the American Liver Foundation’s dedicated online information resource center for Hepatitis C (or Hep C for short). This resource center was created to provide information and support to those affected by the Hepatitis C virus (HCV). Hepatitis C affects nearly 3.2 million people in the United States and about 150 million people are chronically infected worldwide.

If you or a loved one thinks you may be at risk or has been recently diagnosed with Hep C, we encourage you to go through this site to find information on risk factors, diagnosis, treatment and support.

If you still have questions after reviewing the information found within this resource center, you can call our National HelpLine to speak to a dedicated Hep C information specialist.
Hepatitis C Helpline 800-GO-LIVER (800-465-4837) M-F 9am-7pm EST

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GI & Hepatology News is the official newspaper of the AGA Institute and provides the gastroenterologist with timely and relevant news and commentary about clinical developments and about the impact of health-care policy. The newspaper is led by an internationally renowned board of editors.

View Current Issue (Vol. 9 No. 1 January 2015): PDF  Or  Interactive Issue

February Newsletter Coming Soon......

View: All Issues

February News
Threefold increase in cirrhosis risk with HCV
Individuals with hepatitis C infection are three times more likely to develop cirrhosis than are those who are hepatitis C negative, and fibrosis progression is pronounced within the first 5 years after infection, a retrospective cohort study has fou
More »

Human liver cells can induce antiviral reaction against hepatitis C
Immunity against the hepatitis C virus can be induced by cultured primary human liver sinusoidal endothelial cells, according to a study published in the February issue of Gastroenterology (doi:10.1053/j.gastro.2014.10.040). “We found HLSECs [pri

Read additional breaking news @ GI & Hepatology News website.

Dr. Kristine Novak is the science editor for Gastroenterology and Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. She has worked as an editor at biomedical research journals and as a science writer for 15 years, covering advances in gastroenterology, hepatology, cancer, immunology, biotechnology, molecular genetics, and clinical trials. She has a PhD in cell biology and an interest in all areas of medical research.

Recent Topic: 

Project Inform believes it is possible to create the first generation free of HIV and hepatitis C within the next decade. To achieve that dream, we focus our work in four areas: drug development, bio-medical prevention, education and health care access.

Help Lines
HELP-4-HEP (hepatitis C helpline)
Toll-free at 1-877-435-7443 Monday–Friday, 9am–7pm (Eastern Time). 
Learn more.

HIV Health InfoLine
Toll-free at 1-800-822-7422 Monday–Friday, 10am–4pm (Pacific Time), call-back service only. English only. 
Learn more.

January News Updates
I have hepatitis C. What are my treatment options?
As the options for treating hepatitis C (HCV) are increasing, so is the confusion. This is a good problem to have: with more treatment options come more opportunities for people with various HCV genotypes (GT), treatment history and varying levels of cirrhosis to get cured. But…
On January 29, 2015, the FDA approved two new combination pills for treating HIV infection. The first is called Prezcobix, which contains the protease inhibitor Prezista (darunavir) and the booster drug Tybost (cobicistat). The second is Evotaz, which contains the protease inhibitor Reyataz (atazanavir) along with…

Much more is needed beyond CA Governor’s proposed investment in hepatitis C and HIV
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 22, 2015 Contact: Anne Donnelly,, (415) 640-6103; Emalie Huriaux,, (415) 580-7301 Project Inform Acknowledges Governor Brown’s Proposed Investment in Hepatitis C and HIV, But Much More is Needed to Address These Epidemics and Promote Public Health SAN FRANCISCO, CA –…

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The Hepatitis C Trust is the national UK charity for hepatitis C. It was founded and is now led and run by people with personal experience of hepatitis C and almost all of our Board, staff and volunteers either have hepatitis C or have had it and cleared it after treatment.

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Hepatitis C in London annual report

Scottish Medicines Consortium discuss new treatment (Harvoni) for Hep C

It was the blood that was supposed to give her life

MSPs unite to call for the elimination of hepatitis C in Scotland

St Neots man calls for justice from contaminated blood inquiry

Healthcare workers continue to be at risk - report from Public Health England

Contaminated Blood Campaign instigates legal action against DOH, Skipton Fund and Caxton Foundation

Current and Future HCV Therapy-Do We Still Need Other Anti-HCV Drugs?

German insurers win discounts on Gilead's Sovaldi

Gilead expands generic licensing agreements to include GS-5816 in India

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Healthy You

Fixing Flawed Body Parts
Engineering New Tissues and Organs
How can you mend a broken heart? Or repair a damaged liver, kidney, or knee? NIH-funded scientists are exploring innovative ways to fix faulty organs and tissues or even grow new ones. This type of research is called tissue engineering. Exciting advances continue to emerge in this fast-moving field.

Galled by the Gallbladder?
Your Tiny, Hard-Working Digestive Organ
Most of us give little thought to the gallbladder, a pear-sized organ that sits just under the liver and next to the pancreas. The gallbladder may not seem to do all that much. But if this small organ malfunctions, it can cause serious problems. Gallbladder disorders rank among the most common and costly of all digestive system diseases. By some estimates, up to 20 million Americans may have gallstones, the most common type of gallbladder disorder.

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Bloggers Corner

Telling Others We Have Hepatitis C
By Lucinda K. Porter, RN
It can be hard to live with hepatitis C, but telling someone else we have it takes monumental strength. I’ve been open about having hepatitis C for so long now, that sometimes I forget how stigmatized hepatitis C is.

Ten Things Not to Say to Someone Who Has Hepatitis C
By Lucinda K. Porter, RN
If you live with hepatitis C, chances are that someone has said something to you that showed ignorance or insensitivity. Perhaps you know someone with hepatitis C and you are not quite sure what to say. Here is a list of ten suggestions of what not to say to someone who has hepatitis C....

Oil Pulling for Liver Detox and Health
By Karen Hoyt
There is something about home remedies that we all love. Truth be told, a lot of modern science came from “folk medicine”. Today’s aspirin is simply a chemist’s version of the bark on a Willow Tree. We’ve all tried them or had them tried on us. (Remind me to tell you about the scorched flour and Silver Dollar.) But first I want to talk about an old practice that has been popularized in the last few years. Yeah, I’ve been researching Oil Pulling for Liver Detox and Health....

A few positive VA things to report
Posted on February 8, 2015 by Kiedove
Sorry for my recent silence but “life” has interrupted my online activities. I would like to share that we had some good news from the VA all within two weeks. #1 The most important event was that the NOD we …

Advances in hepatitis C treatment. Why aren’t they being used?
The really incredible advances in the treatment of hepatitis C bring to life several relevant questions as we move forward into 2015. First, who should be treating hepatitis C patients (primary care providers, gastroenterologists, infectious disease specialists)? Second, can we really afford to use these new treatments? I recently discussed this topic with my GI and hepatology colleagues in AGA Perspectives, the bi-monthly opinion magazine of the American Gastroenterological Association, but it’s time we extend this conversation outside of our community.

Support Forums

Hep Forums, a round-the-clock discussion area for people who have Hepatitis B, C or a co-infection, their friends and family and others with questions about hepatitis and liver health. Check in frequently to read what others have to say, post your comments, and hopefully learn more about how you can reach your own health goals.

Hepatitis C - MedHelp
Connect with others just like you. Get advice, share your experience.

Hep C Friends
Forum set up by sufferers and post treatment survivors of Hepatitis C. Aims to help and support, offer guidance, research and on-line community for all.

The UK Hepatitis C Forum 
Hepatitis C Support and Information

Transplant Friends
HCV Liver Transplant
Did You Have A Liver Transplant Due To Hepatitis C? This Virus and Hepatitis B are the leading cause for the need for Liver Transplant. Please feel free and join our discussions.

Just For Fun 

What's Inside Instant Hot Chocolate 
Uploaded by WIRED
All you notice is the sweet chocolatey taste, but what ingredients are you really consuming when you sip on a mug of instant hot chocolate?

See you soon....


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