10 Oct 2018 Chris Wingrove

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

Groundbreaking pledge of United Nations agencies to end HIV, TB and viral hepatitis epidemics in Europe at high-level meeting on ending TB.

For the first time, 14 United Nations agencies have joined forces to end the epidemics of HIV, tuberculosis (TB) and viral hepatitis – Europe’s deadliest communicable diseases. The commitment was demonstrated with the launch of the first-ever United Nations Common Position on Ending HIV, TB and Viral Hepatitis through Intersectoral Collaboration in the WHO European Region.

This took place on 27 September 2018 in New York, United States of America, at a dedicated side event during the United Nations General Assembly high-level meeting on ending TB. The meeting’s theme was “United to end tuberculosis: an urgent global response to a global epidemic”.

Read more at www.euro.who.int

Egypt launches historic hepatitis drive. Egyptian authorities launched a historic hepatitis testing drive that will put the country on track to eliminate hepatitis by 2030.

Minister of Health and Population Hala Zayed said at a press conference “The state, the government and civil society organisations give great importance to this historic initiative that will be a turning point in the whole region and a model for the world”

Read more at www.gulfnews.com

The Hepatitis C Trust granted ‘Core Participant’ status as Infected Blood Inquiry begins.

WHA member The Hepatitis C Trust has been designated a ‘Core Participant’ in the UK Infected Blood Inquiry in recognition of their significant role in supporting people affected. Samantha May, Head of Support Services at The Hepatitis C Trust, provided a contribution to the Inquiry at the preliminary hearings, speaking on behalf of those infected with hepatitis C after receiving infected blood.

Read more at www.hepctrust.org.uk 

Little progress towards ‘test all baby boomers for hepatitis C’ since 2013, US study shows.

The proportion of baby boomers who have been tested for hepatitis C in the United States since 2013 has increased only marginally despite a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation that everyone born between 1945 and 1965 should be tested for hepatitis C at least once, researchers from Johns Hopkins University report in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The CDC made its recommendation to screen everyone in the ‘baby boomer’ generation because studies showed that three out of four people with hepatitis C virus in the United States fell into the baby boomer age group.

Read more at www.infohep.org

Overwhelming evidence demonstrates hepatitis C treatment effective for people who inject drugs.

Researchers are calling on an end to discriminatory health and illicit drugs policies, based on overwhelming evidence that new hepatitis C therapies are effective at curing the virus in people who inject drugs.

The Kirby Institute research, which was presented at the at the 7th International Symposium on Hepatitis Care in Substance Users in Cascais, Portugal and published in The Lancet Gastroenterology and Hepatology, provides the strongest evidence-base to date to support the removal of restrictions to accessing hepatitis C therapy based on recent drug use.

Read more at www.kirby.unsw.edu.au 

Australia launch provides a vital missing link to eliminating hepatitis C.

“Eliminating Hepatitis C Australia” was launched in August at Parliament House by the federal health minister, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, in partnership with the Paul Ramsay Foundation. The project is a multi-million dollar targeted, national response to the serious decline in the uptake by Australians of highly effective drugs to cure hepatitis C.

Since new, highly effective hep C treatments were listed on the PBS in March 2016, tens of thousands people living with the disease across Australia have been treated. However, the number of people commencing treatment is falling, putting the country at risk of missing its elimination targets. Over 170,000 Australians are yet to start this life saving treatment.

Read more at www.hep.org.au

Read this and much more in October's HepVoice. Download the PDF here, or view below