On International Children’s Day (1 June), the World Hepatitis Alliance calls for widespread coverage of the hepatitis B birth dose vaccine to protect our children’s futures.
Children are our future. It’s an utter cliché, but it’s true. Children are our future adults, leaders, carers. And so, we have a duty to provide children with the best start in life possible, and that means ensuring their health and wellbeing from day one. A no-brainer, right?
Worldwide, almost two out three babies are being denied access to the hepatitis B birth dose vaccine, a simple measure which can avert a virus that can cause cirrhosis and liver cancer and accounts for over 880,000 deaths a year, globally.
The survey results suggest a wide variation in existing national testing policy and practice when it comes to hepatitis B and C – with overall limited monitoring of testing, diagnosis, and treatment across EU/EEA Member States. Many respondents expressed a need for Europe-wide practical guidance on how testing initiatives should be conducted, evaluated, and monitored.
An estimated 9 to 10 million Europeans have been infected with the hepatitis B (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the countries of the European Union and European Economic Area (EU/EEA), and many are unaware of their infection. ECDC undertook two surveys to evaluate needs and priorities to inform a Guidance on HBV/HCV testing and screening in the EU and to assess the availability of monitoring data on the HBV and HCV epidemic against the core indicators defined in the WHO Regional Action Plan to eliminate viral hepatitis by 2030. 20 (65%) and 21 (68%) Member States responded to the two surveys.
The results suggest a wide variation in HBV/HCV testing policy and practice across the EU/EEA showing significant gaps in available testing guidance and a lack of national monitoring programmes regarding all aspects of testing, diagnosis, treatment, morbidity, and mortality.
Note: this is a very interesting article that has implications the reason some people do not respond to treatment–especially those with decompensated cirrhosis. It may just lead to fine-tuning treatment in the near future – Alan for www.hcvadvocate.org
In a presentation at Digestive Disease Week in Chicago on May 7, researchers presented findings that outlined factors that contribute to the effectiveness of hepatitis C (HCV) treatment.
Not much was known about how HCV interacts with the infected Host. That is, until researchers from the University of Oxford set out to map the genetic interaction between the virus and its host. This was the first “big-data study” of its kind. According to the study, this information is important since, “outcomes of HCV infection and treatment depend on viral and host genetic factors.” Research findings showed “an interaction between host IFNL4 genotypes and an amino acid residue in the HCV NS5A protein determines HCV viral load.” The authors concluded that these findings are important because they “highlight systemic differences in the innate human response and discuss how these might relate to previous associations with spontaneous clearance and clinical treatment.”
Now, the research presented at Digestive Disease Week found that, in HCV patients with advanced cirrhosis, identifying the genetic makeup of patients can help doctors predict the likelihood that these patients will improve with direct-acting antiviral (DAA) drugs. This early knowledge could minimize the need for liver transplants, a new study suggests.
TORONTO – When Walter Buchanan learned his brother-in-law needed a liver transplant because of advanced cirrhosis caused by a long-undiagnosed infection with hepatitis C, he offered to donate part of his organ to save his life.
But Buchanan was shocked when doctors told him he couldn’t be a donor — tests revealed that he, too, carried the virus and that his liver was severely scarred, even though he’d experienced no symptoms.
“When they told me, my mind just went deep-six,” he says from his home in Queensville, Ont, just north of Toronto. “And my first question was: ‘OK, how long do I have?’
The National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable (NVHR) mourns the death of Gregg Allman, who passed away at his home on Saturday.
In addition to being an extraordinarily talented musician, Allman was a champion in the fight against hepatitis C. He spoke openly of living with hepatitis C, using his celebrity platform to spread awareness and offer a message of hope to the millions of Americans living with the disease. He encouraged those at risk to be tested and, if positive, seek early treatment to avoid advanced liver disease and liver cancer.
In July, 2011, the Allman Brothers Band generously donated proceeds from their “Tune In to Hep C” concert to NVHR. This allowed us to establish the NVHR Gregg Allman Hepatitis C Community Education Fund, which provided grants to community organizations for education and awareness programs. This donation was particularly crucial in light of the minimal resources available for organizations to advance their hepatitis C services.
NVHR Steering Committee member Orlando Chavez said the following after learning of Allman’s passing:
“I got to meet and take a photo backstage with Allman at the Tune In to Hep C concert at New York’s Beacon Theatre. He asked me what I do and I shared not only what but why. He hugged me and shook my hand and said my story was reflected in his own. It was a genuine feeling of inclusiveness that gave me an impetus to continue on my trajectory. I set my sail from that night forward to make others feel as if they belong as well.”
NVHR offers our deepest condolences to Allman’s family, friends, and millions of fans around the world.
NVHR Steering Committee member Orlando Chavez with Gregg Allman at the Tune In to Hep C concert, July 27, 2011.
Gregg Allman with NVHR Treasurer Jill Wolf and former NVHR Chair Lorren Sandt on July 2, 2015, at Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland, OR.
Note: Tattoos that are given in a commercial shop that follows safety practices are safe. Never get a tattoo from someone who gives tattoos without following basic safety practices. What are basic safety practices? Visit our Tattoo page to find out more, click here -Alan for www.hcvadvocate.org
Pulaski police are warning residents they might have gotten more than new ink from an unlicensed tattoo artist, and should be checked for hepatitis C.
The department said it was notified by the Department of Health’s New River District that illegal and unlicensed tattooing was taking place and that some customers had been infected with the virus.
The tattoo artist was not identified, but police suggested anyone who had gotten a tattoo from someone in the Meadowview apartments area should be tested.