During a press conference in Dubai on World Hepatitis Day scientific medical experts from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region jointly announced a consensus statement on the identification and challenges posed by chronic hepatitis C in this region, calling for national and local governments and health care providers to join forces to address this condition.
Hepatitis C is highly prevalent in the MENA region with approximately 9.2 million individuals infected with this condition. The announcement was made at a press conference in Dubai on World Hepatitis Day, attended by international and MENA scientific medical experts.
A recent report offers fresh evidence that needle-exchange programs (NEPs) and opiate substitution therapy (OST) can reduce injection drug users’ (IDUs) odds of contracting hepatitis C virus (HCV).
Senior researcher Matthew Hickman, a professor of public health at the University of Bristol, and colleagues pooled the results of six previous studies of UK programs (based in Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow, Leeds, London, and Wales). The results showed that IDUs with the highest coverage of NEPs were about half as likely to contract HCV as others.
Murdoch University researchers have begun a study to develop a new and innovative vaccine for the hepatitis C virus (HCV).
The research in collaboration with Oxford University and funded by the McCusker Foundation, is using a new approach to develop the vaccine, which aims to protect against the majority of circulating HCV strains.
New tool to help identify areas for increased education and screening for hepatitis C
WASHINGTON, July 28, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — In recognition of World Hepatitis Day, the National Minority Quality Forum today launched the Hepatitis C Index, a novel resource for mapping hepatitis C (http://www.maphepc.com).
For the first time, health-care practitioners, policy makers, advocacy groups, and researchers will be able to quantify and map hepatitis C (HCV) prevalence and total counts at the zip-code level for the United States as well as for individual states, counties, metropolitan statistical areas, and federal and state legislative districts. In addition, the index maps HCV by age, gender and race/ethnicity. Index users may generate color-coded maps of hepatitis C prevalence, total counts and hospitalizations rates for downloading, printing, and dissemination to support educational and advocacy initiatives.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) and hepatitis B virus surface antigens (HBsAg) are common in injecting drug users (IDUs), with an estimated 10.0 million IDUs positive for HCV and 1.2 million for HBsAg, according to a review published online July 28 in The Lancet.
The investigators found that, based on eligible reports with anti-HCV prevalence data from IDUs in 77 counties, the midpoint anti-HCV prevalence was 60 to 80 percent in 25 countries and more than 80 percent in 12 countries; worldwide, there might be up to 10 million anti-HCV-positive IDUs, with the highest numbers in China, the United States, and Russia. Eligible HBsAg reports were identified for 59 countries, with midpoint prevalence of 5 to 10 percent in 21 countries and more than 10 percent in 10 countries. Overall, an estimated 6.4 million and 1.2 million IDUs were anti-HBc positive and HBsAg positive, respectively.
People with hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1b respond better to boceprevir and are less likely to develop drug resistance than those with genotype 1a, according to study findings reported last week at the International AIDS Society Conference (IAS 2011) in Rome.
The advent of direct-acting antiviral agents has led to a paradigm shift in treatment for chronic hepatitis C. The first two drugs out of the pipeline – the HCV protease inhibitors boceprevir (Victrelis) and telaprevir (Incivek) – are used with pegylated interferon plus ribavirin standard therapy, but all-oral combinations are currently under study. As with HIV treatment, using these new agents in suboptimal regimens can lead to resistance.
With hepatitis B infecting as many as 10% of people of Asian descent, operations researchers collaborated with a liver transplant surgeon to develop mathematical models that verified the cost effectiveness of hepatitis B interventions. These interventions now successfully screen, treat, and vaccinate millions of Asian and Pacific Islander adults in the U.S. and millions of children in China, according to a paper in a journal of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS).
“Doing Good with Good O.R. [Operations Research]: Supporting Cost-Effective Hepatitis B Interventions” is by David W. Hutton and Margaret L. Brandeau of the Department of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University and Samuel K. So of the Stanford University School of Medicine’s Asian Liver Center and Department of Surgery. It appears in a special issue of the INFORMS journal Interfaces that is dedicated to the new, growing field of humanitarian applications in operations research, which applies analytical and mathematical models to benefit the public sector.