Showing posts with label HCV Awareness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label HCV Awareness. Show all posts

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Treating HCV in Incarcerated Populations Key to Disease Elimination

Treating HCV in Incarcerated Populations Key to Disease Elimination
by Pippa Wysong
Contributing Writer, MedPage Today
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) rates in America's prisons and jails are high, largely because this is where many people with high-risk behaviors such as injection drug use end up. But in order to help reach the World Health Organization goal of elimination of HCV, this population needs more screening and treatment -- not only to help people with the infection, but also to reduce the risk of transmission.
Continue reading MedPage Today article published in AGA Reading Room

Free registration may be required

Monday, August 14, 2017

Hepatitis C - Everyone Has The Right To Be Cured

"Life is inherently risky. There is only one big risk you should avoid at all costs, and that is the risk of doing nothing."
Denis Waitley

Greetings, I have this passion, an obsession if you will, it started at the tender age of ten, the moment my father flew us over Lake Superior in his Cessna. From that day on, I was hooked.

The Landing & A Life Lesson
I remember as we were heading in for a landing, my father turned to me and said, "Flying a plane is a lot like life, taking off is easy, but the landing can kill ya." We both laughed, but I will never forget what he said that day, it was my first life lesson, with more to follow.

My father was a man who took risks, we both did, I still do. Before his success he explored several business ventures, so he knew about failure. Knowing this, and now in my thirties, I asked him what he thought about a business I was about to start. Enter my second lesson.

Looking at me with that half smile, he offered this, "You may fail, but I would rather go somewhere than go nowhere at all." Off I went, the business was successful for years, but eventually it came to an end. However, it was a learning experience, one I completely embraced at the time. The good news? I knew when to get out. The bad news? I had to start all over.

Years later, when my father was very ill, he asked for a glass of water, for reasons I won't go into, it wasn't allowed. Again, I heard, "Take a risk, break the rules, if you won't get me a glass of water, can you get me a burrito." I smuggled in the water.

Some of us are risk-takers, some of us make mistakes, maybe from a lack of knowledge or a lapse in judgement. In any event, missteps, mess-ups happen to everyone, learning from the experience is what matters most, moving boldly forward isn't easy but it beats moving backward, or worse yet, going nowhere at all. 

My Misstep
While very much in love, no, while I fell into a lapse in judgement, I used IV drugs, twice. That's all it took. My next risk? I was tested for HCV 20 years later, I was in my early forties, went on treatment and came in for a smooth landing, I was cured. I seldom discuss my mistakes, but this one needs to be told.  I get the stigma, the fear of being tested, however, my journey to wellness was well worth it.  

If  HCV is, or was, your unfortunate misstep, where ya going next? You can't go backward, but you can move forward, take that first step, get tested. Start by making an appointment with your physician, or search for a testing organization near you. It's a fair compromise, right? Either you'll put this behind you, or have an opportunity to turn things around.

Ohhh That Stigma 
Today in our society the stigma associated with HCV and drug use is still ongoing, sadly this stigma plays a huge part in the number of people forgoing HCV testing. Years ago if you were battling addiction it was impossible to get into a clinical trial, or treatment was denied because of concerns over adherence to the therapy. But today, just like a message in the famous song; The Times They Are a-Changin'....

I hope you watch this video, its an important starting point. 

Uploaded by the Harm Reduction Coalition.
Harm Reduction Coalition - Wesbite
Blog - Demand Access

Articles & Stuff
Great Podcast for anyone who may consider being tested for HCV/diagnosed/or thinking about treatment, begin here....

Watch ASCEND Documentary: Patients, Providers, and Hepatitis C
Article - Expansion of Treatment for Hepatitis C Virus Infection by Task Shifting to Community-Based Nonspecialist Providers
"In this phase 4 prospective, observational study, task shifting of DAA-based HCV therapy to nonspecialist providers was safe and effective.

Primary Care Providers Can Treat Hep C
Primary care providers can successfully manage direct-acting antiviral (DAA) treatment for hepatitis C, though some complicated cases should still be referred to specialists, experts say.
* free registration may be required to view article, I know, I hate that too.

I have no idea how I contracted HCV
Today we have two different groups of people that are at risk for hepatitis C, young people who have used IV drugs and well, older people. The latter falls under the baby boomer generation, that is people born between 1945 and 1965. Rather you contracted HCV recently through drug use, or years ago from another route of transmission, it really doesn't matter, does it? Get tested.

Baby Boomers
If you're a baby boomer, and the whole stigma thing is keeping you from getting tested, know this, in 2016, the Lancet published research showing the hepatitis C epidemic in baby boomers, for the most part, can be traced to hospital transmissions caused by the practice of reusing glass and metal syringes in the 50’s and 60’s.

The bottom line? Living with HCV for years is reason enough to get tested, you are putting yourself at risk for serious liver damage, complications, and other liver related disease.

Disease Progression
Published in the November 2014 issue of Journal of Hepatology; Natural history of hepatitis C
Chronic hepatitis C infection causes cirrhosis in approximately 16% of patients over 20 years. However, fibrosis progression rates are extremely variable and can be influenced by host, viral and environmental factors. The rates of progression are not linear and may vary between fibrosis stages and accelerate with duration of infection or aging. In patients who have had hepatitis for 30 years cirrhosis rates are estimated at 41%, almost 3 times higher than the rates predicted at 20 years duration.
Getting back to HCV and young people, according to a report released this year by the CDC: New Hepatitis C Infections Nearly Tripled over Five Years
New hepatitis C virus infections are increasing most rapidly among young people, with the highest overall number of new infections among 20- to 29-year-olds. This is primarily a result of increasing injection drug use associated with America’s growing opioid epidemic.
The following links focus on research and access to care for people with HCV who use drugs. By using Twitter and Facebook you will find helpful resources with peer support in or around your community.

Start Your Recovery is committed to using evidence-based methods that encourage people to find the support they need.
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Here are a few research articles to get you started, never mind, skip down to those great Twitter and Facebook links.
High HCV cure rates for people who use drugs treated with DAA therapy at an urban primary care clinic
National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable
Twitter - NVHR
Follow On Facebook
The National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable is a broad coalition working to fight, and ultimately end, the hepatitis B and hepatitis C epidemics.
Read - Tested Cured, Project Empowers Drug Users to Take Control of Their Health

Harm Reduction
On Twitter - Harm Reduction
Follow On Facebook
Harm Reduction Coalition: promoting the health and dignity of those impacted by drug use.

Twitter HarborPath
Follow On Facebook
Website - HarborPath
HarborPath is a non-profit safety-net for Uninsured with HIV, hepatitis C; Clinics can access lifesaving medications through our online portal.

Open Society Foundations
International Harm Reduction Development Program works to advance the health & human rights of people who use drugs.
Twitter - OSF Harm Reduction‏ 
Follow on Facebook

Deserve A Cure
Follow On Twitter - Deserve A Cure

Twitter - Don Crocock
Follow On Facebook
This page is dedicated to the dissemination of information; research reports, trends and developments in the areas of Hepatitis C, substance use and misuse and addiction.

Twitter *French & English - CATIE
Follow On Facebook
Canada’s source for HIV and hepatitis C information
Read - Views from the front lines: Getting to undetectable

Harm Reduction Canada
Twitter - Marilou Gagnon RNPhD‏ 
Nurse, Activist, Associate Prof / President, Harm Reduction Nurses Association / Co-President, Nursing Observatory

If you are newly diagnosed I suggest you learn everything you can about the disease, HCV Advocate is a great place to begin, rather you have been tested, been diagnosed, or starting therapy.

Homepage - HCV Advocate
News and Pipeline Blog - HCV Advocate 

Twitter - Henry E. Chang‏ 
Read this - Sobering stats from a study on HCV cure vs. new infections in 91 countries in 2016 (~81% of global burden)

Helpful Links
Premier Hepatitis C Websites, Blogs and Support Forums

In the end just get tested. Like a wise man once said "Mistakes are not for the weak, only the strong make it right and move on." Yep, my dad said that, right after he finished reading my divorce papers. Ugh.

See you soon

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Fight Against Hepatitis C Has Not Yet Been Won - Here’s What We Have To Do

The Fight Against Hepatitis C Has Not Yet Been Won - Here’s What We Have To Do
Professor Mark Thursz
10/08/2017 14:19
After the handshakes comes the hard work. When the Government signed up to an ambitious World Health Organization target on hepatitis C virus (HCV), it was welcome news for thousands of patients, doctors and loved ones living with or affected by this life-changing infection. But for the more than 200,000 people in the UK estimated to be living with HCV, it was far from the end of the story.

Continue reading....

Watch ASCEND Documentary: Patients, Providers, and Hepatitis C

The ASCEND Documentary - An inside view of Hepatitis C treatment in an urban community health care setting

The ASCEND study has been published in the Annals of internal medicine: Expansion of Treatment for Hepatitis C Virus Infection by Task Shifting to Community-Based Nonspecialist Providers: A Nonrandomized Clinical Trial.

Full Text 
Expansion of Treatment for Hepatitis C Virus Infection by Task Shifting to Community-Based Nonspecialist Providers
A Nonrandomized Clinical Trial
Sarah Kattakuzhy, MD; Chloe Gross, RN; Benjamin Emmanuel, MPH; Gebeyehu Teferi, MD; Veronica Jenkins, MD; Rachel Silk, RN, MPH; Elizabeth Akoth, RN, MS; Aurielle Thomas, BA; Charisse Ahmed, BS; Michelle Espinosa; Angie Price, CRNP; Elana Rosenthal, MD; Lydia Tang, MD; Eleanor Wilson, MD, MS; Soren Bentzen, PhD; Henry Masur, MD; Shyam Kottilil, MD, PhD; and the ASCEND Providers*
Full text PDF tweeted via @HenryEChang

Follow On Twitter
I highly suggest you follow Henry E. Chang on Twitter if you are interested in reading full text articles about the treatment and management of hepatitis C.

Aug 10, 2017 Provided by NATAP 
Expansion of Treatment for Hepatitis C Virus Infection by Task Shifting to Community-Based Nonspecialist Providers: A Nonrandomized Clinical Trial - ASCEND Study - (08/10/17)

Follow On Twitter @JulesLevin1      

Aug 10, 2017
Provided by - InstHumanVirology

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Cured HCV patients - Still at risk for reinfection, even by the same genotype

Michelle Long
Cure of hepatitis C (HCV) with use of direct-acting antiviral (DAA) therapy does not protect against reinfection with the virus. In particular, patients who engage in high-risk behaviors are at relatively high risk for reinfection. If HCV is to be eliminated, we will need to ensure access to DAA therapy, including for high-risk individuals. Public health programs, including opioid-substitution therapy and mental health programs, may help abate the risk of reinfection in high-risk individuals. More data are needed to understand how to best implement programs aimed at reducing the risk of reinfection.

Previously Cured HCV Patients Can Be Reinfected
by Pippa Wysong
Contributing Writer, MedPage Today
While direct-acting antiviral agents (DAAs) provide a cure for the vast majority of patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, patients are still at risk for reinfection, even by the same genotype.
Doctors and patients alike need to be aware that even with a cure, and even though a cured patient remains HCV antibody-positive, they are not protected against subsequent HCV infections, according to Vincent Lo Re, MD, co-director of the HIV/Viral Hepatitis Coinfection Scientific Working Group at the Penn Center for AIDS Research, Perelman School of Medicine, at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
Article available @ AGA Reading Room

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Kentucky - Syringe exchanges coupled with drug therapy, treatment could virtually eliminate hepatitis C

Syringe exchanges coupled with drug therapy, treatment could virtually eliminate hepatitis C
By Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Health News

Kentucky leads the nation in new infections of hepatitis C, a liver disease now driven mainly by intravenous drug use. It could be virtually eliminated, but that would require a committed strategy to increase syringe exchanges, medication-assisted therapies, and cutting treatment restrictions such as a ban on treating active intravenous drug users.

That was the overarching message to almost 300 people who attended the fourth annual Viral Hepatitis Conference in Lexington July 27. They also heard that Kentucky is working on all three fronts, but not going as far as some experts want when it comes to treating drug users.

Friday, July 28, 2017

We can cure hepatitis C. But we’re now making the same mistake we did with AIDS

The Washington Post

We can cure hepatitis C. But we’re now making the same mistake we did with AIDS

Three years ago, we wrote about the wide gap in access to hepatitis C treatment, hoping that mistakes made in the world’s response to AIDS would not be repeated in another epidemic of a lethal, blood-borne disease.
Our worst fears have been realized. The World Health Organization now reports that 4 out of 5 people infected with hepatitis C aren’t even aware of it. Of those who do know, fewer than 1 in 50 have received treatment. These numbers are far worse in parts of South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, where the majority of the global extreme poor live. In many places, such as Rwanda, infected patients remain on waiting lists for treatment, without which many succumb early to liver failure, cancer and other related complications.
Continue reading....

Nature - Eliminating viral hepatitis, articles and interviews

Nature - Eliminating viral hepatitis, articles and interviews

Article series: Eliminating viral hepatitis
Viral hepatitis is a global public health problem, and the burden of disease is increasing. In 2016, spurred by development of effective new treatments for hepatitis C and expanding access to hepatitis B vaccination, the 194 Member States of the WHO committed to eliminating viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030. Here, Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology explores areas vital to meeting this ambitious target, from basic viral research to public policy.

August 2017 Volume 14 Number 8
Eliminating viral hepatitis — momentum must keep building
Full text
PDF (235 KB)

August 2017 Volume 14 Number 8
Many European countries 'flying blind' in their efforts to eliminate viral hepatitis
Full text
PDF (255 KB)

August 2017 Volume 14 Number 8
HCV elimination — lessons learned from a small Eurasian country, Georgia
Full text
PDF (179 KB)

Begin here.........

For World Hepatitis Day Nature Releases Viral Hepatitis Articles and Interviews

Hugh Thomas writes an introduction to World Hepatitis Day 2017, including a mini-collection of research on viral hepatitis, in addition read an array of interviews about viral hepatitis research.

Raquel Peck CEO of the World Hepatitis Alliance explains the importance of World Hepatitis Day , Jeffrey V Lazarus and Kelly Safreed-Harmon discuss  WHO's strategy towards the elimination of viral hepatitis.

Begin here.....

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

ECDC estimate: Around 9 million Europeans are affected by chronic hepatitis B or C

And large numbers of them are not even aware of their infection as they have not yet been tested

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)

An estimated 4.7 million Europeans are living with chronic hepatitis B and almost 4 million (3.9) with chronic hepatitis C infection. However, large numbers of them are not even aware of their infection as they have not yet been tested and diagnosed. On the occasion of World Hepatitis Day on 28 July, ECDC Director Andrea Ammon highlights the need for Europe to scale-up coverage of testing, prevention interventions and linkage to suitable treatment services in order to achieve the target of eliminating viral hepatitis as a public health issue by 2030.

According to ECDC estimates, the prevalence of hepatitis B (HBV) across the European Union and European Economic Area (EU/EEA) is around 0.9% and about 1.1% for hepatitis C (HCV) - and these figures are likely to be an underestimation of the true burden as hepatitis infection often shows no symptoms.

European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis underlined the importance of increasing testing that leads to higher detection rates: ''Greater efforts are needed to reduce both the suffering and the costs that hepatitis inflicts across Europe. The Commission is fully committed to helping Member States achieve the Sustainable Development goal of ending HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis and reducing viral hepatitis by 2030. Together, we will scale up our prevention and testing programmes and reach out to the most vulnerable to reduce health inequalities. In order to tackle the underlying causes of the hepatitis epidemic we need to combine health instruments with social instruments and work together across health, social, and education policies.''

In 2015, the countries of the EU/EEA reported almost 60 000 newly diagnosed cases of these two infections - with 24 573 cases of hepatitis B and 34 651 of hepatitis C. For hepatitis C, this constitutes an increase of 4% compared to 2014 and follows the overall trend in Europe which saw a 26% rise of diagnosed and reported cases between 2006 and 2015. While the overall rise in diagnosed hepatitis cases indicates a general increase in testing practices across Europe, this does not apply to all of the European countries. A recent ECDC survey showed great variations across the countries and the proportion of undiagnosed infections ranges between 45-85% for HBV and between 20-89% for HCV, highlighting gaps in national testing programmes.

"There are highly effective drugs available to treat people infected with hepatitis B and C but the main bottleneck we see in Europe is the actual case detection: too many infections with viral hepatitis remain undiagnosed", says ECDC Director Andrea Ammon. "An ECDC study showed that less than half of the responding EU/EEA countries have dedicated hepatitis B or C testing guidance in place and even fewer countries could provide estimates on their undiagnosed infected population", Ammon continued. "There is also a clear need for countries to improve the quality and completeness of surveillance data, especially on the route of transmission. ECDC is currently working on an evidence-based testing guidance to support EU countries in their attempt to achieve the elimination target by 2030".

More testing allows treatment of those infected and reduces transmission

Across Europe, there has been a downward trend in the rate of acute HBV notifications especially among young people - most likely reflecting the positive impact of national vaccination programmes on incidence. Trends in the notifications of acute HCV provide a less reliable proxy for incidence as the disease is largely asymptomatic and cases of acute infection are difficult to diagnose.

In order to achieve elimination of hepatitis by 2030, prevention and control practices need to be scaled up to interrupt existing transmission chains. Those who might be unknowingly infected with viral hepatitis need to be identified through more testing both for their own benefit but also to be able to reduce further transmission in the community.

Source -

ECDC World Hepatitis Day 2017 page

ECDC report: Hepatitis B and C testing activities, needs, and priorities in the EU/EEA
Hepatitis B - Annual Epidemiological Report for 2015
Hepatitis C - Annual Epidemiological Report for 2015
Systematic review on hepatitis B and C prevalence in the EU/EEA
ECDC Guidance: Antenatal screening for HIV, hepatitis B, syphilis and rubella susceptibility in the EU/EEA

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Watch Action Hepatitis Canada - Why We Need a National Strategy for Hepatitis C

Published on Jul 24, 2017
Action Hepatitis Canada

NSW Podcast - Australia Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C

Sydney Sexual Health Centre

Welcome to the third episode of the new Sydney Sexual Health Centre podcast! This episode ties into Hepatitis Awareness Week, which is held at the end of July and incorporates World Hepatitis Day on July 28th. Two campaigns will run throughout July in the lead up to Hepatitis Awareness Week and World Hepatitis Day.

We talk to Stuart Loveday from Hepatitis NSW about hepatitis B and hepatitis C, as well as the state-wide hepatitis B and hepatitis C awareness campaigns.

More on the hepatitis B campaign:
More on the hepatitis C campaign:
More on Hepatitis NSW:
More on Sydney Sexual Health Centre:

Monday, July 24, 2017

The Financial Case for Action on Liver Disease - Escalating costs of alcohol misuse, obesity and viral hepatitis JULY 2017

The Foundation for Liver Research

Monday 17th July 2017
The Lancet Commission into Liver Disease in the UK has today published 'The Financial Case for Action on Liver Disease'

In this paper the Foundation for Liver Research seeks to make the financial case for concerted preventative action through public health measures to tackle the 3 main causes of liver disease: alcohol misuse, obesity and viral hepatitis. The paper summarises the escalating financial costs to the health and care system as well as the wider societal costs related to the 3 lifestyle-related factors.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Hepatitis C and people who inject drugs: The family experience

Hepatitis C and people who inject drugs: The family experience

17 Jul 2017
“Having hep C is not a trivial thing, being around someone with it is not a trivial thing. It leaves marks and scars on the people around them.”

Today we are publishing our report “Marks and scars” on the impact of hepatitis C on the families of people who inject drugs.
Around half of people who inject drugs in England and Wales are thought to be infected with hepatitis C. For the first time, the families have been asked what it’s really like for them.
Drawing on evidence from online surveys and phone interviews, we have discovered that:
  • Most family members have heard of hepatitis C, but their knowledge is not always in depth.
  • Most family members are worried about the risk of their loved one contracting hepatitis C, although other drug-related issues are often more significant.
  • Hepatitis C causes a range of impacts on family life, including an increase in the intensity of the caring role, fears about transmission, strain on relationships and stigma.
  • Family members had mixed experiences of seeking information and support and playing a role in treatment.
Family members also told us how their experiences could be improved, for example by increasing awareness of hepatitis C, enabling family members to be more involved in the treatment process and providing support for families in their own right.
Read the report here.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Watch NBLCA's: National African American Hepatitis C Action Day

NBLCA's Health Action TV: National African American Hepatitis C Action Day

Published on Jul 16, 2017
For more information on Manhattan Neighborhood Network:

National African American Hepatitis C Action Day (NAAHCAD) 2017

Tuesday, July 25th is the 5th Annual National African American Hepatitis C Action Day (NAAHCAD). This day provides an opportunity to promote hepatitis C prevention, testing, and treatment messages to public health partners and the public. NAAHCAD also provides a chance to discuss the importance of linkage to care, cure and integrating prevention opportunities, as many people at risk for acquiring hepatitis are often at risk for acquiring other infectious diseases such as HIV or STDs.

In addition to the outreach activities that touch so many lives each year, NBLCA is partnering with C.O.P.E. (co-founder of NAAHCAD) to host Hepatitis C forums via webinars or Facebook Live to provide information to stakeholders and educated consumers as a lead up to NAAHCAD beginning this month. NBLCA is also partnering with NVHR to organize a call-in to legislators on July 25 to deliver a strong message by emphasizing the importance of the Affordable Care Act to people living with hepatitis C.

National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable
This webinar is now archived.
Click here for the slides. Click here for the recording. (Click the link and then enter name and email address to view the webinar)
Please join the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS (NBLCA) and the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable for a webinar on July 11, 2017 about National African American Hepatitis C Action Day.  The webinar will include information about the history and purpose of Action Day, perspectives from a health care provider, patient, and advocate, and a call to action for organizations and individuals. Presentations will be followed by Q&A and discussion.
Panelists include:
Gloria Searson, Coalition on Positive Health Empowerment (COPE)
Dr. Oluwaseun O. Falade-Nwulia, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Francis LaMont Adams, South Carolina HIV/AIDS Council
Shernell (Toni) Sells, South Carolina HIV/AIDS Council
Daniel Raymond, Harm Reduction Coalition
For more information about this webinar, contact Tina Broder, NVHR’s Program Director.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Looking at the Twin Epidemics of HCV

AGA Reading Room

Looking at the Twin Epidemics of HCV
by Pippa Wysong
Contributing Writer, MedPage Today

Younger cohorts at risk of HCV need more attention
They are a unique group of individuals in which most new infections are happening," he told MedPage Today. "Treating them is more complicated than simply giving them medical therapy." He was lead author of a recent large study in BMC Infectious Diseases that elucidated the characteristics of the twin epidemics.
When researchers look at the causes of mortality among this younger cohort, deaths are often related to acquisition-related causes such as injection drug use and drug overdose. Baby boomers, on the other hand, are more likely to present later with HCV and to die from chronic diseases and liver-related causes.
Continue reading....

Free registration may be required.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

HIV, Tuberculosis, Hepatitis C: EP proposals for tackling communicable diseases

HIV, Tuberculosis, Hepatitis C: EP proposals for tackling communicable diseases

make HIV tests free of charge to speed up diagnosis
address growing antimicrobial resistance of tuberculosis
develop a consistent approach to fight viral hepatitis across the EU

MEPs urged the Commission on Wednesday to address the increase in HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and viral hepatitis cases in the EU and to develop long-term programmes.

A harmonised infection surveillance programme is needed to immediately detect outbreaks of these contagious diseases, assess trends in prevalence, provide disease burden estimates and effectively track in real time how diagnosis, treatment and care are managed.  As HIV remains the communicable disease bearing the greatest social stigma, Commission and Member States should facilitate access to innovative treatments, also for the most vulnerable groups, and combat social stigma.

They encourage Member States to make HIV tests available free of charge, to ensure early detection.
Tuberculosis (TB), which is the biggest killer of people living with HIV, has become a serious cross-border threat in a globalised world in which population mobility is increasing, MEPs stress. The number of people affected by TB in the world rose in 2014 for the third year in a row.
MEPs emphasise the importance of tackling growing anti-microbial resistance and call on EU leaders to establish cross-border prevention measures and initiate joint action.
Against Hepatitis C, where 90% of patients show no symptoms of contracting the disease, there is no standard protocol for screening in the Member States. The number of people affected might be underestimated, say MEPs.. The Commission should launch a plan to standardise screening, testing and treatment protocols to eradicate hepatitis C in the EU by 2030.
The resolution was adopted by show of hands.

Quick Facts
  • In 2015, almost 30 000 new HIV infections were reported by the 31 EU/EEA countries.
  • An estimated 120 000 people in Europe developed Multi-Drug Resistant TB.
  • Viral hepatitis (HCV) is considered one of the most serious public health threats globally.
  • According to the European Center for Disease Control (ECDC), one out of seven people living with HIV are not aware that they are HIV positive.
  • The estimated average time between HIV infection and diagnosis is four years
  • By 2050, out of an estimated 10 million annual deaths in the EU due to drug resistance , one quarter will be caused by drug resistant strains of TB

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Hepatitis C cases on the rise with millennials

Hepatitis C cases on the rise with millennials
By Sabra Stafford
The ongoing opioid crisis in the nation has created another consequence for healthcare providers as data reveals a growing number of hepatitis C infections among young adults.

New data released recently by the California Department of Public Health show an increase in newly reported hepatitis C cases among young adults in the state. Between 2007 and 2015, newly reported hepatitis C infections increased 55 percent among men 20-29 years of age and 37 percent among women in the same age group.

The rates are consistent with increases in hepatitis C across the country.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Hepatitis C - CDC New Surveillance for Viral Hepatitis

Of Interest
Medscape - New Video Series
About this Series
In the past few years, a new class of direct-acting antiviral agents has made the treatment of HCV easier and more effective than ever before, with cure rates nearing 100%, even among HIV-positive patients. But not all patients with HCV who are eligible for antiviral treatment are identified, and even fewer are being referred for care. Thus, HCV infection remains a significant risk for progression to cirrhosis, liver failure, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Liver specialists at two prestigious Chicago medical centers confront the key issues in the management of patients with chronic HCV infection.
View: Episode 1/ Strides and Obstacles

Surveillance for Viral Hepatitis – United States, 2015
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS) (1) receives viral hepatitis case reports electronically each week from state and territorial health departments in the United States (U.S.) via CDC’s National Electronic Telecommunications System for Surveillance (NETSS), a computerized public health surveillance system. The surveillance system accepts case reports of acute and chronic infections from all states and the District of Columbia, though not all jurisdictions report their data. In 2015, a total of 48 states submitted reports of acute hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, 40 submitted reports of acute hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, 40 submitted reports of chronic HBV infection, and 40 submitted reports of chronic HCV infection.

View Report Online - Commentary

Hepatitis C: 
Reported cases of acute HCV infection increased more than 2.9-fold from 2010 through 2015, rising annually throughout this period. Examining annual trends beginning in 2011, reported cases of acute HCV infection increased 44.3% from 2011 to 2012 (n=1,232 and 1,778 cases, respectively), increased 20.3% to 2,138 cases in 2013, increased 2.6% to 2,194 cases in 2014, and increased 11% to 2,436 cases in 2015. The increase in acute HCV case reports reflects new infections associated with rising rates of injection-drug use, and, to a much lesser extent, improved case detection (15). Several early investigations of newly acquired HCV infections reveal that most occur among young, white persons who live in non-urban areas (particularly in states within the Appalachian, Midwestern, and New England regions of the country) (16); trends in these states likely indicate an overall increase in HCV incidence throughout the country (15, 17). States with the highest rate of new HCV infections (e.g., West Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee) did not receive CDC support for case finding during these reporting years (2011-2015). After adjusting for under-ascertainment and under-reporting (2), an estimated 33,900 (95% CI=26,800–115,000) new HCV infections occurred in 2015.

Based on the data from national health surveys conducted in the 2003-2010 time period, approximately 3.5 million persons are currently infected with HCV (18). Mortality among HCV-infected persons—primarily adults aged 55–64 years—increased during 2006-2010 (19, 20). In 2013, HCV associated deaths exceeded the combined number of deaths with 60 other infectious diseases as underlying causes (21). CDC data indicate the number of HCV-associated deaths increased 10.9% from 2011 through 2014 and decreased 0.2% to 19,629 in 2015. Approximately one-half of all deaths in 2015 occurred among persons aged 55-64 years. However, deaths associated with HCV are largely underestimated; the only large U.S. study of deaths among persons with confirmed HCV infection indicated that only 19% had HCV listed anywhere on the death certificate despite 75% having evidence of substantial liver disease (20). To increase the proportion of persons with HCV who are tested and linked to recommended care including curative treatment for HCV (12, 13), CDC and USPSTF recommend one-time testing for HCV infection among all adults born during 1945–1965 and among others at increased risk for HCV infection (22).

Continue reading report @

Funding the war on hepatitis – deploying innovative finance mechanisms to eliminate hepatitis C in Europe

Funding the war on hepatitis – deploying innovative finance mechanisms to eliminate hepatitis C in Europe

"In this blog, co-authors Rob Walton (
Cello Health Public Affairs), Jeffrey V Lazarus (CHIP, WHO Collaborating Centre on HIV and Viral Hepatitis at Rigshospitalet, the University of Copenhagen and Editor-in-Chief of Hepatology, Medicine and Policy), Homie A. Razavi (Center for Disease Analysis), Jagpreet Chhatwal (Harvard Medical School), Charles Gore (Hepatitis C Trust), Pierre Van Damme (Vaccine & Infectious Disease Institute – VAXINFECTIO, University of Antwerp), Luís Mendão (GAT –Treatment Activist Group), and Angelos Hatzakis (Athens University Medical School and Hepatitis B & C Public Policy Association), discuss an innovative financing mechanism to eliminate Hepatitis C in Europe."

Rob Walton
20 Jun 2017
It is no coincidence that the emerging international consensus to tackle HCV has come at the same time as the arrival of new and highly effective range of direct-acting antiviral (DAA) treatments for hepatitis C virus (HCV). These new drugs offer, for the first time, a realistic opportunity for the elimination of the disease across Europe by 2030. While effective, the high price of these treatments could pose a significant financial challenge to healthcare systems. But the costs of failing to take action could potentially be even higher. If HCV is left untreated, in many cases it can lead to liver failure and liver cancer which means that a liver transplant is the only viable course of treatment available.

"Speak Up" on World Hepatitis Day - The Hepatitis C Trust Patient Conference programme announced

The Hepatitis C Trust Patient Conference programme announced

The Hepatitis C Trust is delighted to confirm the programme for this year's Patient Conference, which is being held in London on 28th July to coincide with World Hepatitis Day. Speakers will include Professor Graham Foster (Professor of Hepatology, Queen Mary University), Sam May (Head of Support Services, The Hepatitis C Trust), and Dr Magdalena Harris (Lecturer, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), and there will also be an opportunity to share personal stories about the impact of hepatitis C.

The event is free to attend for all patients and professionals and you can secure your place here.

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