November 2018: Hep Headlines

19 Nov 2018 Chris Wingrove

Hepatitis is making the news regularly thanks to the work of WHA members, here are a few highlights.

Iceland could eliminate hepatitis C by 2020
In Iceland, a nationwide program has been launched offering treatment for the entire population living with hepatitis
C virus (HCV). A mathematical model was used to estimate the additional health system requirements to achieve the HCV
elimination targets of the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as the year that this could occur. With some additional 
screening of people who inject drugs, Iceland could reach the WHO targets by 2020, becoming one of the first countries to
achieve HCV elimination. The model estimated that once elimination targets were reached, maintaining current monitoring
and harm reduction services while providing ongoing access to DAA therapy for people diagnosed with HCV would ensure
that future HCV outbreaks are unlikely to occur.

Australia releases annual HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmissible infections report
The Kirby Institute have released their annual surveillance report. According to the report, an estimated 199,230 people were
living with chronic hepatitis C infection at the beginning of 2017 decreasing to 182,144 by the end
of 2017, with over 20,454 cured of hepatitis C since the end 2016 thanks to increased access to new treatments subsidised by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
Read more at 

The Hepatitis C Trust responds to select committee report on prison health
Rachel Halford, Chief Executive of The Hepatitis C Trust, said: “We welcome calls for a ‘whole
system’ approach to prisoner healthcare, and are pleased that the Health and Social Care
Committee has acknowledged that prisons are in a vital position to address health inequality.
However, there was a disappointing absence of specific recommendations on the better
implementation of opt-out testing for blood borne viruses and on increasing hepatitis C treatment
availability in prisons. We would also have liked to have seen a recommendation for prisons to provide sterilised
needles and syringes to prevent transmission of BBVs through the sharing of equipment for injecting drugs.”


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