Friday, July 10, 2015

July Hepatitis Newsletters; Liver disease in menopause, Addressing the Restricted Use of DAA therapies and More...

July Newsletters

Welcome to the July issue of "Newsletters" with a look at today's news and this month's updates from around the web.

In The News

July 10
Hepatitis C outbreak Dr. Dipak Desai sentenced to federal prison for fraud
Las Vegas Review-Journal
After years of silence, Dr. Dipak Desai spoke publicly Thursday about the 2007 hepatitis C outbreak at his once-busy endoscopy center.

Early stage hepatitis C can be cured with pill that attacks virus
With the rise in heroin use we've recently reported on, infection control experts have another hidden health concern.

Stymied pill-users turning to cheaper, easier-to-get heroin
Chattanooga Times Free Press
Already, state officials have seen a rise in hepatitis C, Varney said. And the source of the drugs is more dangerous. Whereas about 70 percent of prescription drug abusers in Tennessee have gotten their pills from a family member, the heroin market is ...

Federal Audits Of Medicare Advantage Reveal Widespread Overcharges 
Government audits just released as the result of a lawsuit detail widespread billing errors in private Medicare Advantage health plans going back years, including overpayments of thousands of dollars a year for some patients.

July 9
Clinical tips: hepatitis C explained
Australian Journal of Pharmacy (registration) (blog) - ‎Jul 9, 2015‎
The majority of patients (approximately 95%) acquire hepatitis C from injecting drug use. Hepatitis C virus and HIV share similar modes of transmission, therefore co-infection with both is common

July 8

July 7
 Michael Manns, MD Published Online: Tuesday, July 7, 2015 

Updates Around The Web

Liver disease in menopause
An editorial published in the July issue of "World Journey of Gastroenterology," reviewed the impact of menopause on the natural history of liver disease, including both hepatitis C and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

Excerpt; Liver disease in menopause

Data have clearly shown unique issues in the development and natural history of liver disease in menopause. As there is ongoing concern about the progression of liver injury with liver disease in the menopausal state, this also raises concern about the possible need for specialized approaches to liver disease management among women with chronic liver disease who are in menopause or approaching menopause. Previous therapy for HCV liver disease, namely pegylated interferon, carried a substantial side effect profile, and thus, recommendations often suggested consideration for use of pegylated interferon in the setting of patients with more advanced levels of fibrosis[53]. Historically, many HCV-infected patients waited until achieving this level of fibrosis before consideration for treatment. Concern regarding a more accelerated progression of fibrosis in postmenopausal women with HCV liver disease suggests a need for consideration for a more aggressive treatment approach in women, particularly among those who are peri-menopausal or in their younger years of menopause, so as to avoid accelerated progression toward advanced HCV liver disease. Presently, newer HCV treatments, including sofosbuvir, simeprevir, sofosbuvir/ledipasvir, and paritaprevir/ritonavir/ombitasvir/dasabuvir, have minimal side effect profiles, and thus, issues regarding timing of HCV treatment are no longer influenced by concerns about side effects. As these drugs are relatively new and markedly superior in the ability to eradicate HCV infection, there are no data regarding whether there is a reduced likelihood of response to treatment in menopause as has previously been demonstrated in interferon-based treatment. However, there should continue to be concern about ensuring that HCV infection is aggressively managed in all populations and particularly in women who are at risk for acceleration of the severity of HCV liver disease....
Continue reading ...


Must Watch: HCV Virtual Patient - Cases 7-10 are now available

Check out "ViralEd" to view "HCV Virtual Patient" an easy to follow video CME with a look at different case scenarios.

After each detailed case is discussed a list of multiple choice questions will appear, in order to move forward the question must be answered correctly, if you don't know the answer click on the "curbside consult" button located in the bottom corner of the presentation.  Instructions will be explained after launching the program. 

Cases 1-4  include HCV recurrence after liver transplantation, HCV/HIV co-infection, in addition an explanation of blood tests used in HCV is also featured.
Where Next for Hepatitis B and C Surveillance?
Journal of Viral Hepatitis, July 10, 2015 

HCV-Associated Lymphoma and Mild Liver Disease
Liver International, July 8, 2015 

Hepatitis B Foundation
Hepatic ALT Flares Linked to HBsAg Clearance
July 6 – Hepatic alanine aminotransferase (ALT) flares are associated with rapid decline and greater annual reductions of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) in patients with chronic hepatitis B virus who achieve HBsAg seroclearance, say Japanese researchers. 
Read more.

dlDNA Marks Progression of HBV-Related Liver Disease
July 6 – The level of serum duplex-linear DNA (dlDNA) increases markedly with liver disease progression and the development of hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with chronic hepatitis B, suggests research published in Gut. 
Read more.

Syringe Exchange Program Highlights Infectious Disease Levels in West Virginia
July 6 – West Virginia (WV) unveils the state’s first syringe exchange program in an effort to reduce overdose deaths and the spread of infectious diseases. WA has the highest rate of new hepatitis B cases in the country, and the second highest rate of hepatitis C cases.
Read more.

Unhygienic Dental Practices Puts 12,000 Australians at HIV & Hepatitis Risk
July 6 – More than 11,000 dental patients in the Australian city of Sydney may have been exposed to HIV and viral hepatitis because of unhygienic practices at four clinics across the city over a number of years. 
Read more.

Blog  Updates

AJM Hepatitis C Resource Center Hepatitis C Blog 

The AJM Hepatitis C Resource Center provides both primary care providers and specialists with continually updated treatment guidelines, and an up-to-date repository of informative, freely-available, full-text articles to encourage effective HCV screening and diagnosis, and to highlight the promise of novel treatment regimens.

Addressing the Restricted Use of DAA therapies
Posted on July 6, 2015
Results of a new US cost effectiveness study indicate that effective direct acting antiviral (DAA) therapies should be not be restricted to only those HCV-infected patients with advanced fibrosis. Authors note that as a society, we have an opportunity to eliminate hepatitis C by taking appropriate and timely steps, and we should be willing to pay for the current HCV therapies by providing additional resources and giving hepatitis C the attention it deserves.

Absolutely Maybe
Hilda Bastian, an editor for PLOS Medicine, PubMed Health and PubMed Commons, explains in detail the downside of Meta-analysis on her blog "Absolutely Maybe," hosted on the "PLOS BLOGS Network."

In short, Meta-analysis is a combination of results from several independent studies, click here for a few examples related to HCV, published on PubMed.

Another 5 Things to Know About Meta-Analysis
By Hilda Bastian
Posted: June 30, 2015
Last year I wrote a post of “5 Key Things to Know About Meta-Analysis”. It was a great way to focus – but it was hard keeping to only 5. With meta-analyses booming, including many that are poorly done or misinterpreted, it’s definitely time for a sequel!

Meta-analysis is combining and analyzing data from more than one study at a time. Using a variety of statistical methods, some of which were purpose-built, you can condense a vast amount of information into a single summary statistic.

1. A meta-analysis is a safer starting point than a single study – but it won’t necessarily be more reliable.

A meta-analysis is usually part of a systematic review. It’s a heavy-duty effort, and it’s often described as the ultimate study, outweighing all others. The last word. A single study becomes a puny thing, to be ignored even.... is the go-to source for educational and social support for people living with hepatitis.

Hep C Blogs

Grace Campbell
July 8
Hepatitis C: Ain't nothin' gonna slow me down ...
click here to enter
July 6
The Benefits of Hepatitis C Treatment: Let me Count the Ways

Hepatitis C Treatment and Drug Interactions
June 29
July 8
When is "Worrying" ok?
What do you really gain from worry?
click here to enter

Joe Burke
July 7
One Year Ago Today, A Reflection of Life
click here to enter
July 7
One Year Ago Today, A Reflection of Life
click here to enter

****Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Hep Forums
Hep Forums, is 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. 
Register, here.

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Spotlight on HIV and Aging

Lung disease, certain cancers, HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders (HAND), and liver disease (including hepatitis B and hepatitis C), among others.

July Newsletters

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

July Issue
A Brief Overview of Liver Toxic Herbs
Alan Franciscus, Editor-in-Chief

A recent article appeared in Gastroenterology that provided an overview of herbal products. This review will focus on the important issues regarding the lack of standardization, possible contamination, some deceptive claims and a list of the herbs that have the most potential to harm the liver.

HealthWise: Hepatitis C and Pain—Part 2
Lucinda K. Porter, RN

Part 2 of a two-part series discussing pain associated with hepatitis C, focusing on pain management techniques that have little or no risk of injuring the liver.

Alan Franciscus, Editor-in-Chief
Read about long term treatment outcomes and the benefits of achieving an SVR, and a study on methadone continuation vs. forced withdrawal in a Rhode Island prison and jail.

Antacid, Pregnancy Categories and Herbs
Alan Franciscus, Editor-in-Chief

Read about important precautions regarding HCV treatment—Proton Pump Inhibitors, antacids, pregnancy categories and herbal supplements.

A New Powerful HCV Health Tool
Alan Franciscus, Editor-in-Chief
In this age of technology, hepatitis C finally has it is own App! This technology is brought to you by Help-4-Hep which provides peer-to-peer counselling services for people with hepatitis C. It is available on the internet and mobile devices.

HBV Advocate Blog
Welcome to HBV Advocate’s blog where you'll find the latest news about hepatitis B.

More Updated Easy C's
Alan Franciscus, Editor-in-Chief

We have just finished a complete update of our Easy C Fact Series fact sheets. Check them out!

Save the Date: Patient Community Forum on Hepatitis C - Fresno, CA, August 20, 2015

In Case You Missed It
HCV Advocate Mid-Month Newsletter

HCV Advocate Eblast

Connect With HCV Advocate



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.

Monthly Pubmed Review of the most relevant research on HCV
Download: June 2015 Literature Review

Begin here.....

Weekly News
Weekly news updates are currently posted on the Internet site and sent out via e-blast to provide up-to-date information on what has been covered in the news regarding hepatitis C in the previous week. Topics include all stories related to hepatitis C as well as personal stories and events.

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

In accordance with the Foundation’s mission, the e-newsletter is disseminated to provide information about the prevention, treatment and cure of liver disease, as well as the organization’s research and advocacy endeavors.

Liver Lowdown content includes updates about the Foundation’s educational and signature programs; an in-depth focus on specific types of liver disease, and profiles of liver patients’ and caregivers’ personal experiences.

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To receive the newsletter when it's "hot off the press" please join our email list.

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GI & Hepatology News
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.

GI & Hepatology Newsletter

Download July 2015 PDF Or View July 2015 Interactive Version

In This Issue
SVRs slump in real-world use of sofosbuvir drugs

Cefazolin ranks sixth as a cause of drug-induced liver injury 

Nivolumab puts brakes on advanced liver cancer

Read breaking news stories now: visit the GI & Hepatology News website.

Stay connected


HepCBC Hepatitis C Education and Prevention Society

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.

View All Newsletters, Here

Stay Connected


NYC Hep C Task Force
The New York City Hepatitis C Task Force is a city-wide network of service providers and advocates concerned with hepatitis C and related issues. The groups come together to learn, share information and resources, network, and identify hepatitis C related needs in the community. Committees form to work on projects in order to meet needs identified by the community

July Newsletter
July 2015 Hep Free NYC Newsletter

Upcoming Events
HepCure Webinar | Hep C Treatment Activism. July 7th (4:30-5:30). Presentation by Tracy Swan, Hepatitis/HIV Project Director, Treatment Action Group. HepCure is a Mount Sinai production.

Webinar | Why Integrated Care Providers Must Address Viral Hepatitis. July 8 (2:00 - 3:30 PM). SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions.

Hep-SBIRT Training: Alcohol Screening and Counseling for Hepatitis Patients. July 9 (1 PM-5 PM). 4 Hour SBIRT certification program for MD, NP, PA, LMSW/LCSW, RN. NYC Health Dept, Long Island City. Register here

Webinar | 2015 CDC STD Guidelines: New Testing, Treatment and Disease. July 17 (12 - 1 PM).

Webinar | Consequences for Young People Who Inject Drugs: Hep C on the Rise. July 22 (10:30 - 11:45 AM).

View all newsletters, here.

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Louis Jones: HIV undetectable, Hep C cured!
July 9, 2015
Louis Jones is a peer navigator at Harlem United FROSTD and he participated in the IDUHA Hep C Peer Navigation Program. His story is one of resilience, advocacy and attaining a goal he never imagined possible: being cured of Hep C. Louis started using heroin when he was 19 years old, and in 1986 he … 

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Healthy You 


July 2015

Minding Your Metabolism
Can You Avoid Middle-Age Spread?

As you age, you may notice you have less muscle and energy and more fat. You can take steps to help fight the flab that can come with age.

Featured Website: Alcohol Calculators

ACP Internist provides news and information for internists about the practice of medicine and reports on the policies, products and activities of ACP

July Issue

Prescribe opioids, but with caution
By Ryan DuBosar
Use of opioids for chronic pain quadrupled in a 10-year span, despite scant evidence that they are effective for noncancer pain and ample evidence of harm. Learn more about how to prescribe them safely.

Women's health
SSRIs may be associated with increased fracture risk in middle-aged women without mental disorders

Women without mental illness who started SSRIs and a cohort of women who started H2 antagonists or proton-pump inhibitors (without SSRIs) were compared, with a main study outcome of hip, humerus, radius, or ulna fractures 1 or more days after starting therapy. 

See you soon

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