Showing posts with label HIV. Show all posts
Showing posts with label HIV. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Has a second person with HIV been cured?

Has a second person with HIV been cured?
Mar. 4, 2019 , 6:05 PM

Timothy Ray Brown, aka the “Berlin patient,” the only person to be cured of HIV, may finally have company. A decade after Brown became famous thanks to a stem cell transplant that eliminated his HIV infection, a similar transplant from a donor who has HIV-resistant cells appears to have cured another man, dubbed the “London patient.”

“This is a big deal,” says Sharon Lewin, who heads the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Melbourne, Australia. “It tells us that Timothy Brown wasn’t a one-off.” Although the interventions that the two patients received could only be used on a tiny fraction of the 37 million HIV-infected people worldwide, their stories point to cure strategies that could be more widely applicable.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

China Investigates Reports of H.I.V.-Tainted Blood Plasma Treatment

Chinese Blood Plasma Feared Contaminated With HIV Tests Negative ...
A statement from the National Medical Products Administration said tests for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C all turned out negative. The samples were from a …

China Investigates Reports of H.I.V.-Tainted Blood Plasma Treatment
BEIJING — Officials in Shanghai are investigating reports that a Chinese pharmaceutical company may have sold more than 12,000 units of a blood plasma product contaminated with H.I.V., potentially the latest in a series of scandals that have threatened to undermine public trust in China’s medical institutions and health care system.
In a statement on its website, the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday night that authorities had ordered the company, Shanghai Xinxing Medicine Company, to begin an emergency recall of the potentially tainted batch of intravenous immunoglobulin, a treatment made from pooled blood plasma that is often used to treat immune disorders, and halt its production.
Read more:

Thursday, January 10, 2019

The science is clear—with HIV, undetectable equals untransmittable

The science is clear—with HIV, undetectable equals untransmittable

NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

In recent years, an overwhelming body of clinical evidence has firmly established the HIV Undetectable = Untransmittable (U=U) concept as scientifically sound, say officials from the National Institutes of Health. U=U means that people living with HIV who achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load—the amount of HIV in the blood—by taking and adhering to antiretroviral therapy (ART) as prescribed cannot sexually transmit the virus to others. Writing in JAMA, officials from NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) review the scientific evidence underlying U=U and discuss the implications of widespread acceptance of the message.

In the new commentary, NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., and colleagues summarize results from large clinical trials and cohort studies validating U=U. The landmark NIH-funded HPTN 052 clinical trial showed that no linked HIV transmissions occurred among HIV serodifferent heterosexual couples when the partner living with HIV had a durably suppressed viral load. Subsequently, the PARTNER and Opposites Attract studies confirmed these findings and extended them to male-male couples.

Validation of the HIV treatment as prevention strategy and acceptance of the U=U concept as scientifically sound have numerous behavioral, social and legal implications, the NIAID officials note. U=U can help control the HIV pandemic by preventing HIV transmission, and it can reduce the stigma that many people with HIV face.

The success of U=U as an HIV prevention method depends on achieving and maintaining an undetectable viral load by taking ART daily as prescribed. Numerous factors, including lack of access to quality health care, can make ART adherence difficult. To enhance the overall success of U=U, the authors emphasize the importance of implementing programs that help patients remain in care and address the barriers to daily therapy.

RW Eisinger, CW Dieffenbach, AS Fauci. HIV viral load and transmissibility of HIV infection: undetectable equals untransmittable. Journal of the American Medical Association DOI: 10.1001/jama.2018.21167 (2019).

NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., is available for comment.

NIAID conducts and supports research—at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide—to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID website.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

NIH…Turning Discovery Into Health®

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Facing Opioids in the Shadow of the HIV Epidemic

January 3, 2019
N Engl J Med 2019; 380:1-3
DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1813836

Facing Opioids in the Shadow of the HIV Epidemic
Caroline M. Parker, M.A., Jennifer S. Hirsch, Ph.D., Helena B. Hansen, M.D., Ph.D., Charles Branas, Ph.D., and Sylvia Martins, Ph.D.

The United States is in the midst of an opioid crisis. An estimated 2.1 million Americans had an opioid use disorder in 2016. The rate of opioid overdose deaths has increased by 500% since 1999, and each day an estimated 115 Americans die from opioid overdose.1 Despite the proven effectiveness of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorders, the opioid mortality rate has now surpassed that of the AIDS epidemic during its peak in the early 1990s — a time when there was no effective treatment for HIV/AIDS.2

Thursday, November 29, 2018

HIV, HCV and HBV: A Review of Parallels and Differences

Infect Dis Ther. 2018 Dec;7(4):407-419. doi: 10.1007/s40121-018-0210-5. Epub 2018 Sep 4.

HIV, HCV and HBV: A Review of Parallels and Differences.
Leoni MC1,2, Ustianowski A3,4, Farooq H3, Arends JE5.

Elimination of the three blood-borne viruses-human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis C (HCV)-as public health issues may be plausible in the near future. Spectacular advances have been made with the introduction of highly effective antiviral agents into clinical practice, and prevention strategies are available for all three infections. Effective disease control, laid out by WHO global strategies, is currently feasible for all three viruses. However, for worldwide elimination of these viruses, effective vaccines are required that are currently only available for HBV. In this review differences and parallels among HIV, HCV and HBV will be discussed with a focus on virologic and therapeutic issues, and prospects for the future of HBV will be presented.

Shared via twitter by @HenryEChang
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Monday, September 10, 2018

HCV Newsletters & Updates: Obesity in liver disease, Nasal spray for opioid overdose and Fast-acting flu drug

HCV Newsletters & Updates
Welcome, check out the latest news, review this months collection of newsletters, and finish off by reading a handful of well written blogs focused on living well with hep B or C.

In The News
MSF and groups call for end to Gilead’s hepatitis C drug monopoly in Europe which blocks access 
--Pharmaceutical company Gilead has a patent monopoly on hepatitis C drug sofosbuvir in Europe
--The patent results in exorbitant prices, meaning people are unable to afford treatment
--MSF and other organisations are urging the European Patent Office to overturn the patent in a hearing this week.

With an award-winning newsroom, STAT gives you indispensable insights and exclusive stories on the technologies, personalities, power brokers, and political forces driving massive changes in the life science industry — and a revolution in human health.
Fast-acting flu drug shows strong potential - An experimental, fast-acting flu drug showed strong promise in two newly published trials — but it also led to some surprising and even concerning results. The drug cut the time people were sick with flu symptoms by just over a day, but didn’t make people feel better faster than Tamiflu.

California-based Opiant earlier this year was awarded a $7.4 million grant by the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Drug Abuse for the development of a nasally-applied version of overdose treatment nalmefene.

Associated Press 
Doctors explore lifting barriers to living organ donation
WASHINGTON — Surgeons turned down Terra Goudge for the liver transplant that was her only shot at surviving a rare cancer. Her tumor was too advanced, they said — even though Goudge had a friend ready to donate, no matter those odds.

HepCBC is a Canadian non-profit organization offering awareness with basic information about HCV and a weekly digest of news.
Read the latest issue of the highly successful Weekly Bull.

September Updates
Hepatology - Top Story From Healio 
Healio features the industry’s best news reporting, dynamic multimedia, question-and-answer columns, educational activities in a variety of formats, blogs, and peer-reviewed journals.

HCV NEXT September/October Issue - The following articles appeared in this months issue of HCV NEXT, published online over at Healio

September 7, 2018
Physicians and researchers have noted the increase in liver disease over the last couple decades, especially nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, correlates significantly…

NATAP is a New York State non-profit corporation with 501(c)3 Federal tax-exempt status. Our mission is to educate individuals about HIV and Hepatitis treatments and to advocate on the behalf of all people living with HIV/AIDS and HCV. Our efforts in these areas are conducted on local, national, and international levels.
Global Hepatitis Summit A Few Selected Highlights 
Reported by Jules Levin, NATAP
In June the Global Hepatitis Summit took place in Toronto. Here are 3 selected talks highlighted of particular interest to me. The first talk by Andrew Hill he says we have a bleak scenario regarding the possibility of global HCV elimination. He says in many countries new HCV infections outstrip HCV cures and new diagnoses. New diagnoses are much lower in all poorer countries compared to high income countries. Screening is too low, all of which he uses to say the outlook is bleak for global HCV elimination unless we make changes.

The 2nd talk I chose to highlight was by Maria Prims from the Netherlands where she reports high HCV infection & reinfection rates among people taking PrEP to prevent HIV infection. She highlights an increasing HCV incidence among MSM. 376 started PrEP either daily or on demand and there were 12 HCV infections: 6 new infections & 6 reinfections.

The 3rd report below is on the use of a new broader type of model in India for HCV screening & care. A more comprehensive clinic model where IDUs can under 1 roof get a variety of services for IDU and HCV care. Sunil Solomon highlights how big & diverse the HCV epidemic is India, much bigger even only among IDUs compared to the entire HCV epidemic in Western Europe. 
Read it here...…

In Case You Missed It
'A long life with HIV' is now available to read online. The booklet provides information on living well with HIV as you get older, including things you can do to look after your health, health issues and preparing for the future.

Sept 4, 2018
Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NSDQ:INO) and its partner, GeneOne Life Science (KSE:011000), said today that the companies have dosed the first patient in a Phase I study designed to test a preventive vaccine against hepatitis C infection. The companies plan to recruit 24 study participants to evaluate Inovio’s GLS-6150 candidate. Participants will include people who have a sustained virologic response following treatment for Hep. C, as well as healthy controls. They are slated to receive one of two doses of vaccine, administered intra-dermally and followed by electroporation with Inovio’s Cellectra device.

Risk of Liver Cancer in Patients with NAFLD 
(Reuters Health) - People with advanced cases of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) may need to be monitored for liver cancer, a large U.S. study suggests.

Vosevi Beats Hepatitis C Regardless of Drug Resistance 
In a recent study of people whose previous hep C regimen failed to cure their infection, Vosevi cured almost all of them.

Will an opt-out organ transplant law save lives?
The recent decision in England to change the organ donation law from voluntary consent (opt-in) to presumed consent (opt-out) highlighted the debate around the best approach to organ donation.

Routine oral care to treat gum disease may improve cognitive function in cirrhosis patients
Routine oral care to treat gum disease may play a role in reducing inflammation and toxins in the blood and improving cognitive function in people with liver cirrhosis.

In The Journals 
Hepatitis B Virus and Risk of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
Journal of Viral Hepatitis

Chronic Hepatitis C Association with Diabetes Mellitus and Cardiovascular Risk in the Era of DAA Therapy.
Most likely, DAA treatment and subsequently SVR achievement decrease cardiovascular risk. This fact is another reason for early treatment of patients, including those with a lower grade of liver fibrosis. Yet, chronic hepatitis C treatment remains inaccessible not only in developing countries but also in countries with high quality of life..

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.
In this month’s HCV Advocate newsletter, the following noteworthy articles are available to read and educate:
-SnapShots by Alan Franciscus Risk factors, mortality, and cardiovascular outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes—A. Rawshani, et. al.
-Incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma after direct antiviral therapy for HCV in patients with cirrhosis included in surveillance programs—P. Nahom, et. al.
-Safety and efficacy of ledipasvir‐sofosbuvir with or without ribavirin for chronic hepatitis C in children ages 6‐11—K. F. Murry, et. al
-Commentary: A review of the risk of hepatitis B and C transmission through biting or spitting—H. Pintilie, et. al.
-Hepatitis C virus infection in children in the era of direct-acting antivirals—M. Pawlowska, et. al
HealthWise – A Buffet of Health Information – as the title of the article implies, Lucinda discusses the various substances that may or may not be good for your health.
Hepatitis Headlines – Three interesting news stories about hepatitis C that our readers will find interesting including heart transplants, eliminating hepatitis in the U.S. and WHO and HCV treatment guidelines.
Hep C 101 – Overview of Hepatitis C by Alan Franciscus – A new series of article for people who are new to hepatitis C or for those people who want basic information.
What’s Up – We’ve updated several of the HCV Advocate Factsheets. Use the links provided in this section to get current information on several subjects that relate to Hep C, including nutrition, alcohol, co-infection, and motherhood.
Watch our patient video about treating and curing HCV. 

The New York City Hepatitis 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.
Review all news updates.

HCV Action
HCV Action brings together hepatitis C health professionals from across the patient pathway with the pharmaceutical industry and patient representatives to share expertise and good practice.
HCV Action e-update

World Hepatitis Alliance
We run global campaigns, convene high-level policy events, build capacity and pioneer global movements, ensuring people living with viral hepatitis guide every aspect of our work.
View Recent Newsletters 
World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA) presents hepVoice, a monthly magazine with updates on the latest projects, news from WHA members and key developments in the field of hepatitis.

GI & Hepatology News
Over 17,000 gastroenterologists and hepatologists rely on GI & Hepatology News every month to cover the world of medicine with breaking news, on-site medical meeting coverage, and expert perspectives both in print and online. 
Hot topics
Amy Karon MDedge News 
Modest alcohol consumption was associated with significantly less improvement in steatosis and significantly lower odds of NASH resolution.
View all updates here....

Hep-Your Guide to Hepatitis
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.
View - all issues
Read the news

Hepatitis Victoria
Hepatitis Victoria is the peak not-for-profit community organisation working across the state for people affected by or at risk of viral hepatitis.
Latest Podcast: Karen Hoyt a HEP Hero and she is unique in being our first international recipient!
Speaking from Oklahoma in the United States, Karen talks about her diagnosis with hepatitis C and how she experienced the full gamut of conditions leading to a liver transplant.

View the Latest Newsletter, or relax and listen to a short podcasts interviewing health experts and practioners on topics related to viral hepatitis - come have a listen!

British Liver Trust
The British Liver Trust is the leading UK liver disease charity for adults – we provide information and support; increase awareness of how liver disease can be prevented and promote early diagnosis; fund and champion research and campaign for better services. 
News: Less Survivable Cancer Taskforce calls for government to double the survival rate of deadliest cancers by 2029
The combined five-year survival rate for people with either liver, brain, lung, oesophageal, pancreatic or stomach cancers stands is currently just 14%. Today, six charities …
View Recent Newsletters, here.

The National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable
The National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable (NVHR) is national coalition working together to eliminate hepatitis B and C in the United States.
View all NVHR newsletters

The Hepatitis C Trust
The Hepatitis C Trust is run by patients with the goal of eliminating HCV in the United Kingdom. The Trust’s mission is to reverse the rapidly increasing death toll caused by hepatitis C in the UK until no-one dies from this preventable and treatable disease and, ultimately, it is all but eradicated in this country.

National Institutes of Health
A monthly newsletter from the National Institutes of Health, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
September Newsletter
Body Odor May Be Sign of Disease
Breathe Easier
Dealing with Bad Air Quality

Harvard Health
Lipoprotein(a) is a fatty particle in the blood that invades artery walls, causing atherosclerosis. Also known as Lp(a), the particles are similar to “bad” LDL cholesterol molecules but with an extra protein attached. High blood levels of Lp(a)—which is largely determined by genetics—may explain some unexpected, premature heart attacks. Widespread testing for Lp(a) is not recommended because both the prevalence and the definition of what constitutes a dangerously high level are not yet clear. In addition, there are no FDA-approved treatments proved to lower heart disease risk in people with high Lp(a) levels.

Inspirational Bloggers
Karen Hoyt is devoted to offering support and accurate information to people coping with the effects of hepatitis C.
I hear a lot from people seeking help for autoimmune liver disease. Trying to figure it out is hard, but most symptoms are the same as any type of liver disease. I know, we can’t lump them all into one specific area, but they are in the same region.

Lucinda K. Porter
Lucinda Porter is a nurse, speaker, advocate and patient devoted to increasing awareness about hepatitis C.
Latest blog entry: Happiness: Purging Self-Help Advice

Hep is an award-winning print and online brand for people living with and affected by viral hepatitis.
Latest blog entry: By Connie M. Welch
Patient Experience Living With Cirrhosis With John M., Part 2 Part 2 of Connie Welch’s interview with John M, a patient with hepatitis C and cirrhosis, who was successfully treated with Harvoni.

By Greg Jefferys -How Big Pharma Corrupts Health Services 
A look at how bribing bureaucrats and buying doctors brings about bad outcomes for public health.
Check out the talented people who blog at Hep.

We provide information, support, referral and advocacy for people affected by viral hepatitis in NSW. We also provide workforce development and education services both to prevent the transmission of viral hepatitis and to improve services for those affected by it.
Latest blog entry: Pharmacists key in harm reduction

Life Beyond Hepatitis C
Life Beyond Hep C is where faith, medical resources and patient support meet, helping Hep C patients and their families navigate through the entire journey of Hep C.
Latest blog entry: Relief from Itching with Hepatitis C and Cirrhosis

Canadian Liver Foundation 
We strive to improve prevention and the quality of life of those living with liver disease by advocating for better screening, access to treatment, and patient care.
Latest blog entry: Who Gives a Sliver of a Liver to a Stranger?

Hepatitis B Foundation 
The Hepatitis B Foundation is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure and improving the quality of life for those affected by hepatitis B worldwide.
Latest blog entry: - Be Your Own Advocate in the Medical Room
The hepatitis B virus (HBV) can be transmitted two ways: 1) through direct contact with blood and 2) infected body fluids. Some risks for direct blood contact are obvious, such as touching an open wound to another open wound or cleaning up someone’s blood without any protective gear. However, other methods of blood transmission are harder to catch. Common activities like sharing razors, earrings, or toothbrushes are simple, innocent actions, yet they all have the potential for blood exchange.
At we empower patients and caregivers to take control of Hepatitis C by providing a platform to learn, educate, and connect with peers and healthcare professionals.
Latest blog entry: Ask the Advocate: What Were Your First Symptoms of Hep C?
There are several common symptoms of chronic HCV, including fatigue, joint pain, muscle aches, low-grade fever, decreased appetite..

HIV and ID Observations 
An ongoing dialogue on HIV/AIDS, infectious diseases, all matters medical, and some not so medical.
Latest blog entry: Doravirine Sets a New Standard for NNRTIs — But What Role in HIV Treatment Today?

Kevin Pho is a practicing physician and most known for his blog KevinMD. Thousands of authors contribute to his blog: primary care doctors, surgeons, specialist physicians, nurses, medical students, policy experts. And of course, patients, who need the medical profession to hear their voices.
One of the aspects of depression that’s particularly difficult is the sleep disturbance which accompanies it and often continues after the traditional symptoms of depression have finally gotten better.

On The Radio
Presented by Dr Norman Swan
Genetic test predicts dementia risk. Warning over new genetic tests on Medicare Benefits Schedule. Colonoscopy standards to reduce unnecessary treatment, risk of complications. Scan your heart to save your life...

Healthy You
This type of observational study is useful for comparing what happens to groups of people in different situations (in this case, people over 75 who have or haven't been prescribed statins), but it can't show cause and effect. So in this case, it can't show whether living longer or having strokes or heart attacks are a direct effect of taking or not taking statins...

Osteoporosis is often called "soft bones." "Osteoporosis is thinning of the bone to the point where the bones can break," says Dr. Bart Clarke, a Mayo Clinic endocrinologist. Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute Journalists: Broadcast-quality video pkg (1:00) is in the downloads. Read the script. Dr. Clark says common breaks from thinning bones occur in the spine, wrist, shoulder and hip. "Women, in general, past menopause — past the mid-50s — are at high risk for this because of the…

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Monday, July 9, 2018

Promising new HIV vaccine candidate trialled in humans

Monday 9 July 2018 5:37PM (view full episode)

Researchers have been trying for decades to find a vaccine for HIV. Several candidates have made it through initial rounds of clinical trials, only to prove ineffective at generating an immune response in humans. But a new vaccine candidate is the fifth ever to make it through to the so-called 'phase 2b' trial stage.

Listen @ Health Radio, hosted by Dr Norman Swan with guest Dr Dan Barouch, professor of Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess and Harvard Medical School in Boston.

The Health Report is a valued information source for professionals and students in the medical and health professions, as well as attracting a sizeable audience of general listeners seeking jargon-free, easy-to-understand information and analysis on health and medical matters.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

JIAS - Special Issue: Towards global viral hepatitis elimination for all patients in all income settings

Journal of the International AIDS Society
Published on behalf of the International AIDS Society

Special Issue: Towards global viral hepatitis elimination for all patients in all income settings
Guest Editors: Marina B Klein, Karine Lacombe

The complete supplement file is available at

First Published: 10 April 2018
Full text

Open Access
How far are we from viral hepatitis elimination service coverage targets?

Yvan J‐F Hutin Marc Bulterys Gottfried O Hirnschall e25050
First Published: 10 April 2018
Full text

Research Articles
Open Access
Hep‐CORE: a cross‐sectional study of the viral hepatitis policy environment reported by patient groups in 25 European countries in 2016 and 2017

Jeffrey V Lazarus Samya R Stumo Magdalena Harris Greet Hendrickx Kristina L Hetherington
Mojca Maticic Marie Jauffret‐Roustide Joan Tallada Kaarlo Simojoki Tatjana Reic Kelly Safreed‐Harmon the Hep‐CORE Study Group e25052
First Published: 10 April 2018
Full text

Open Access
Approaches for simplified HCV diagnostic algorithms

Slim Fourati Jordan J Feld Stéphane Chevaliez Niklas Luhmann e25058
First Published: 10 April 2018
Full text

Open Access
Linkage and retention in HCV care for HIV‐infected populations: early data from the DAA era

Rachel Sacks‐Davis Joseph S Doyle Andri Rauch Charles Beguelin Alisa E Pedrana Gail V Matthews Maria Prins Marc van der Valk Marina B Klein Sahar Saeed Karine Lacombe
Nikoloz Chkhartishvili Frederick L Altice Margaret E Hellard e25051
First Published: 10 April 2018
Full text

Open Access
Treatment advocate tactics to expand access to antiviral therapy for HIV and viral hepatitis C in low‐ to high‐income settings: making sure no one is left behind

Céline Grillon Priti R Krishtel Othoman Mellouk Anton Basenko James Freeman Luís Mendão
Isabelle Andrieux‐Meyer Sébastien Morin e25060
First Published: 10 April 2018
Full text

Open Access
Is hepatitis C virus elimination possible among people living with HIV and what will it take to achieve it?

Natasha K Martin Anne Boerekamps Andrew M Hill Bart J A Rijnders e25062
First Published: 10 April 2018
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Open Access
Research gaps in viral hepatitis

Anders Boyd Léa Duchesne Karine Lacombe e25054
First Published: 10 April 2018
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Friday, April 6, 2018

TAGline Spring 2018: Activism and the elimination of HIV, HCV, and TB

TAGline Spring 2018: Bend the curves

Bend the curves: Activism and the elimination of HIV, HCV, and TB
Incremental change—activism that successfully defends or advances critical research or policy—can sometimes feel inconsequential, particularly when it is hard won, resource intensive, and intangible. But in the context of public health strategies with ambitious targets and formidable stakeholder engagement, it is an undeniable facet of progress. In this issue of TAGline, Treatment Action Group (TAG) highlights some important recent successes and challenges in meeting its overarching goals: moving beyond achingly slow trends and sharply bending the curves on new HIV, hepatitis C, and TB infections, suffering, and deaths.

Spring TAGline contains:
Bend the Curves:
Activism and the Elimination of HIV, HCV, and TB

By Tim Horn
The Usual Suspects:
Common Challenges for ETE Planning and Implementation in Emerging Jurisdictions

By Jeremiah Johnson
New York State EtE Campaign Update:
Successes & Challenges

By Jeremiah Johnson
The Role of Vaccines and Cures in HIV Elimination
By Richard Jefferys
It’s up to You, New York:
Moving towards HCV Elimination in the Empire State
By Annette Gaudino
Global HCV Elimination Targets and Challenges:
An Interview with Andrew Hill

By Bryn Gay & Annette Gaudino
From Moscow to New York and Beyond:
The Future of Tuberculosis Research and Development

By Safiqa Khimani and Mark Harrington
The United Nations’ Back Yard:
TB Elimination in New York State and the U.S.

By Erica Lessem
In a State of Disunion:
HIV, TB, and HCV Elimination Policies and Priorities Under the Trump Administration

By Suraj Madoori

TAGline Spring 2018

Other Updates @ TAG
Now Available in Spanish: Training Manual for Treatment Advocates: Hepatitis C Virus & Coinfection with HIV
April 4, 2018 – You can now download a Spanish version of our Training Manual for Treatment Activists: Hepatitis C and HIV Coinfection!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

March HCV Newsletters & America’s Opioid Crisis: Overdoses Still Increasing

March HCV Newsletters & Updates: America’s opioid crisis is still increasing

In March the CDC reported emergency department visits for opioid overdoses rose 30% across the US.

- Particularly hard hit were Midwestern states, with a 70% increase in opioid overdoses. 
- Opioid overdoses increased for both sexes and all age groups. 
- People who have had an opioid overdose are more likely to have another.  
- Repeat opioid overdoses can be avoided through treatment referrals provided during emergency department visits.  
- Timely and coordinated response efforts can also better prevent more opioid overdoses in the community. 
- Learn more about preventing opioid overdoses and what to do if an overdose occurs in order to save a life. 

For more information, visit

In The Media
America’s opioid crisis has become an “epidemic of epidemics”
By Ella Nilsen Mar 6, 2018
Opioid and heroin use is causing a dramatic spike in new hepatitis C infections, as well as dangerous bacterial infections that, if left untreated, can cause strokes and require multiple open-heart surgeries. Doctors and public health officials also fear America is on the brink of more HIV outbreaks, driven by intravenous drug use.

Jump In Overdoses Shows Opioid Epidemic Has Worsened
Rob Stein
In just one year, overdoses from opioids jumped by about 30 percent, according to the a report released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Overall as a nation, we are still failing to adequately respond to the opioid addiction epidemic," says Dr. Andrew Kolodny, co-director of opioid policy research at Brandeis University. "It is concerning that 20 years into this epidemic, it is still getting worse. The number of Americans experiencing opioid overdoses is still increasing."

Check out this months newsletters & blog updates with information and support for people living with or treating viral hepatitis.

Read today's news or a nice summary of notable headlines published in the latest issue of The Weekly Bull.

HCV Advocate
HealthWise – Is Hepatitis C Treatment Safe?
By Lucinda Porter, RN – My first article for the HCV Advocate appeared 20 years ago. Hepatitis C virus infection (HCV) wasn’t curable yet. HCV is now easily curable and one would think the problem is solved, but it isn’t. Numerous obstacles stand in the way of eliminating this disease. A large percentage of the population is still undiagnosed because of inadequate HCV screening. Access to health care is uneven, particularly for those who need it the most.”

Review and Editorial Comments by Alan Franciscus Executive Director of the Hepatitis C Support Project, Editor-in-Chief of the HCV Advocate Website

List Of Articles
1- Direct-Acting Antiviral Sustained Virologic Response: Impact on Mortality in Patients without Advanced Liver Disease—L.I. Backus, et. al.

2- Increasing Prevalence of Hepatitis C among Hospitalized Children Is Associated with an Increase in Substance Abuse—A S Barritt, et. al.

3- Population-level outcomes and cost-effectiveness of expanding the recommendation for age-based hepatitis C testing in the United States—J. A. Barocas, et. al.

4- Glecaprevir/Pibrentasvir for Hepatitis C Virus Genotype 3 Patients with Cirrhosis and/or Prior Treatment Experience: A Partially Randomized Phase 3 Clinical Trial—D. Wyles, et. al.
National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable
NVHR Newsletter
NVHR Welcomes Two Federal Actions to Help Prevent and Treat Hepatitis B
America Liver Foundation 
The New York City Hepatitis C Task Force
British Liver Trust
HEPVOICE - World Hepatitis Alliance
GI & Hepatology
From the AGA Journals
Sofosbuvir/ledipasvir looks good in HBV coinfected patients
Hep Magazine
Advocacy in Action
Best of You
Is U.S. Lagging in Hepatitis Efforts?
As Injection Drug Use Rises, So Does Hep C
An Early Cure Protects the Liver?
Cured of Hep C, at Risk of Fatty Liver

Blog Updates
Hep Blogs
Factors That May Increase Your Risk of Death from Hepatitis C
March 5, 2018
By Lucinda K. Porter, RN
Barely a week goes by in which I don’t read about the increased risk of death from hepatitis C. People living with this virus are at risk of dying prematurely from all the major causes of mortality, such as cancer, heart disease, and stroke. However, it appears that certain behaviors may hasten death when you have hepatitis C.
By Kimberly Morgan Bossley - March 5, 2018
I had a very unsettling experience a few years back that really got me to thinking about how knowledgeable are most physicians about hep C. Finding a the Right Doctor for You...

5 Things That Make Stress Worse 
By Karen Hoyt - March 2, 2018
Stress can make you miserable. Everything sets you on edge. The noise someone makes when they eat. The bank teller wanting copies of whatever when you’re rushed. Your neighbor mowing his lawn...

Effects of Chronic Illness on Our Moods 
By Daryl Luster - March 1, 2018
Sounds like depression by another name, but is it necessarily as simple as that? I am not suggesting that depression is simple or should ever be dismissed as “nothing” as some might...
Blogs - Healio
BLOG: A word of caution to insulin pump users to ‘spring forward’
It’s happening again — the daylight saving time spring ritual. This year the daylight saving time change will...
BMC Blog
Raquel Peck 1 Mar 2018
On Zero Discrimination Day (March 1st), the World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA) is encouraging the hepatitis community to challenge misconceptions and speak out about the devastating impact of stigma and discrimination across the globe.

Xu Zhang 5 Mar 2018
Pain, an unpleasant feeling and physical and psychological burden for patients, has drawn the attention of dedicated scientists trying to tackle the problem from… 
Oxford University

Romance and reality: clinical science in liver transplant for alcoholism
By Thomas P. Beresford 4 Mar 2018
The alcoholic with liver disease has a liver from birth that is genetically vulnerable in some way to the ravages of drink. Only about 15% of heavy drinkers develop alcoholic liver disease. The other 85% of heavy drinkers will never need a transplanted liver. Should the 15% die because of their genetic vulnerability to alcoholism—a treatable condition in which large numbers recover every year?
The internet is an amazing source of information and misinformation. How do you know if what you are reading is accurate?

Healthy You

Medical News Today
Last updated Fri 2 March 2018
By Tim Newman Reviewed by Elaine K. Luo, MD
This MNT Knowledge Center article will cover the main roles of the liver, how the liver regenerates, what happens when the liver does not function correctly, and how to keep the liver healthy.
The Atlantic
Evolution doomed us to have vital organs fail. For years, experts failed us, too.
Harvard Health Blog
In November 2017 the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology changed the definition for high blood pressure. One day your blood pressure of 130/80 was normal — the next day you had stage 1 hypertension, and suddenly you found yourself in a higher risk category formerly reserved for people with blood pressure of 140/90. While you probably don’t feel like celebrating the change, it may actually be a good thing.

Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections CROI 2018
News, slidesets, interviews, and webinars

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TGIF Rewind: HCV and HCC, Tips For Kidney Health & Treating HCV According to Genotype

Its Friday! Do you have any plans for this weekend? Thinking I may go play with the grandkids pup, she's so cute! In any event here are a few updates on the topic of viral hepatitis.

Starting over at Healio, the March issue of HCV NEXT is out, with a feature on HCV treatment for people who inject drugs, the associated stigma, and critical need for awareness. Bloggers from around the web have been busy as well, Karen Hoyt is your resource for everything HCV, read her new article about kidney disease, filled with helpful tips; from labs to nutrition. Greg Jefferys writes about treatment options for each HCV genotype, his article is easy to understand, a must read, available online at Hep Blogs. Finally, a link is provided below to the following journal updates; Fatty liver disease & HCV (in case you missed it), and two articles on treatment for patients with HCV and HCC.

In The Journals
World J Gastroenterol. Mar 21, 2018; 24(11): 1269-1277
Published online Mar 21, 2018. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v24.i11.1269
Fatty liver in hepatitis C patients post-sustained virological response with direct-acting antivirals
This is the first prospective study to assess the prevalence of fatty liver in hepatitis C patients who have achieved a sustained virological response with direct-acting antivirals. The study’s findings that fatty liver is present in 47.5% of these patients and that some steatotic patients have clinically significant fibrosis despite normal liver enzymes should raise awareness of the post-sustained virological response (SVR) prevalence of fatty liver and the importance of post-SVR assessment of steatosis and fibrosis and long-term follow up with these patients.
Full text

On Twitter
The following full-text articles were downloaded and shared by Henry E. Chang via twitter.
Emerging data are demonstrating lower sustained virologic response (SVR) rates in patients with HCC compared with patients without HCC. Conflicting studies have also suggested that rates of HCC recurrence in patients with a history of HCC can potentially be increased or decreased on DAA therapy. This review will provide a brief overview of these data and inform practitioners on important considerations to make when prescribing DAA therapy for patients with HCV and HCC

Persistence of hepatocellular carcinoma risk in hepatitis C patients with a response to IFN & cirrhosis regression 
The finding that HCC developed also in SVR patients with cirrhosis regression (F3)greatly attenuates the need for refining the management of SVR patients in relation to residual liver fibrosis. The fact that regressed patients developed HCC later than non regressors deserves attention.....

March Updates On This Blog
Stagnation of fibrosis regression is associated with a high risk for HCC after SVR
Side effects associated with different hepatitis C direct-acting antiviral drugs
Dos and Don’ts in the Management of Cirrhosis: A View from the 21st Century
Higher levels of vitamin D is associated with a lower risk of liver cancer
March 2018 - Recruiting hepatitis C clinical trials

The following articles appeared in the March print edition of HCV NEXT, provided online at Healio.
Moving Beyond the Low-Hanging Fruit in HCV Diagnosis and Treatment
HCV Next, March/April 2018
The trouble in engaging difficult to reach populations is, well, that they are difficult to reach. The low-hanging fruit of diagnosing and treating people who have…

Treating People Who Inject Drugs:
HCV Next, March/April 2018
As a population, people who inject drugs have the highest prevalence and incidence of hepatitis C infection. Despite this, people who inject drugs have historically had…

Blog Updates
I Help C - Your Best Friends Guide to Hep
Karen Hoyt March 10, 2018
If you are going to drown your Hepatitis C or cirrhosis sorrows – do it with water. Kidney disease is not as silent as liver disease, but it sure will sneak up on you if you’re not taking precautions. If you were holding your breath out of fear, you can let it out now. Your kidneys do NOT get damaged quite like the liver if you take care of your kidneys. This post celebrates with Wisdom for World Kidney Day.

Hep Blogs
Hepatitis C Treatment Options
By Greg Jefferys
An explanation of the various hepatitis C treatment options for each genotype. 

Check out a new patient friendly video launched by Hepatitis C activist Greg Jefferys, with a look at current therapies used to treat the hepatitis C virus across all HCV genotypes.

On March 8, 2018, NVHR participated HHS’s webinar, Hidden Casualties: National Partners’ Response to the Opioid Epidemic and Infectious Diseases. Below is a transcript of NVHR’s portion of the webinar.

Creating a World Free of Hepatitis C
Who’s in Charge, You or Stress?
Lucinda Porter March 15, 2018 All of us have stress. Life is an unpredictable string of events, and sometimes it feels like a circus juggling act. Lily Tomlin said, “Reality is the leading cause of stress for those in touch with it.”

Scratching That Itch
By Kimberly Morgan Bossley - March 15, 2018
Scratching that itch that seems to never go away. You know the one that interrupts your daily activities and your sleep. Itchy and irritated This has always been a big issue with...

Does Hepatitis C Go Away On Its Own?
By Carleen McGuffey - March 14, 2018
Hepatitis C can go away spontaneously in approximately 20% of cases, but the majority of the time, hep C becomes a chronic infection.1 Its a very hardy virus. If you have ever...

Hepatitis C and Opioid Addictions
By Karen Hoyt - March 13, 2018
If you are under 40 and diagnosed with Hepatitis C, you probably have more problems than you know what to do with. If you got HCV through a dirty needle, there is...
The real cause of the opioid epidemic: the government
Rudolph, MD March 13, 2018
The patient The patient is a forty-two-year-old male who works in the auto manufacturing arena. He takes one step to his left, he turns and lifts a seventy-five-pound piece of metal from a moving conveyor belt. He turns back and takes one step to his right to put the metal on his table. He tightens three screws, lifts the metal off the table to take one step to his right, turning, ...

Harvard Health Blog
Monique Tello, MD, MPH March 16, 2018
A recently published clinical guideline on vitamin and mineral supplements reinforces every other evidence-based guideline, research review, and consensus statement on this topic. The bottom line is that there is absolutely no substitute for a well-balanced diet, which is the ideal source of the vitamins and minerals we need.

Hep B Blog
What to do about hepatitis B when you’re pregnant?
March 14, 2018 Around the world, the most common mode of hepatitis B transmission is from mother to child. Unfortunately, pregnant mothers who have hepatitis B can transmit the virus to their newborn during the delivery process. 90% of these HBV infected babies will progress to chronic infection putting them at increased risk of serious liver disease or liver cancer later in life.
March 7, 2018
Discrimination is unethical, unnecessary and a violation of human rights. Hepatitis B is simply not transmitted through casual contact. The stigma that persists is based on ignorance and it impacts millions around the world daily.

BMJ Opinion
Richard Lehman’s journal reviews—12 March 2018
March 12, 2018
Fatty liver: the untapped market
Nearly a third of men in the richest countries have fatty livers: women and middle-income countries are racing to catch up. How about that for a market? An unlucky few of these will develop fibrosis and of these an unlucky few will die of liver failure or hepatocellular carcinoma. So you have your advertising copy sorted too. But by the same token any drug given to such a vast number of people will have to be very safe and will need some very lengthy hard-end point trials. And there is an excellent cheap candidate drug already—pioglitazone, which can reverse cirrhosis as well as steatosis. But never mind all that. Let’s read about a 116-patient phase 2 trial of an injectable experimental drug, lasting 12 weeks. In that time, a third of the participants experienced diarrhoea and three-quarters lost more than 5% of their liver fat. “Larger clinical trials of longer duration are now needed to fully assess the safety and efficacy of NGM282.” Might The Lancet not have found better use for its space in the meantime?

ACP Internist Blog
Scoping out the reasons for overuse of colonoscopy
Michael Kirsch, MD, FACP
In our practice we have an open endoscopy system, as do most gastroenterologists. This means that other physicians or patients themselves can schedule a procedure with us without seeing us in advance for a consultation. Of course, we are always pleased to see any of these patients for an office visit in advance, but many patients prefer the convenience of accomplishing the mission in one stop. This is reasonable for patients who truly need our technical skill more than our medical advice.

Enjoy the upcoming weekend.