An estimated 110,000 North Carolinians are living with hepatitis C, and about 75 percent don’t even know it.
Terl Gleason, a 55-year-old tax preparer and Greensboro native, was exposed to the contagious blood-borne virus in the late 1980s, but didn’t know he had it until 2000. He never experienced any common symptoms such as jaundice or fatigue.
Gleason was having some health issues and suspected he had HIV. To his surprise, when he got tested to confirm it, he learned he had hepatitis C also. A quarter of people with HIV are coinfected with hepatitis C, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Of the 1,080 HIV-positive people or hepatitis interviewed by the Aides association, nearly 30% report having been discriminated against during the past year in their emotional, family, sexual and medical lives, according to this published survey On the eve of World AIDS Day. Nearly half of them said they had been rejected in their emotional, family and sexual lives, and almost a quarter had been discriminated against in the medical community.
Precariousness also emerges as a major source of discrimination, notes the association for the defense of the sick in its report 2016 entitled “HIV / hepatitis (VHV), the hidden face of discrimination”.
Inequalities in access to care
One in ten respondents (all serologs: HIV, hepatitis C, etc.) said they were confronted with the refusal of care during the last 24 months and, “not surprisingly the dentists, the most frequently cited” association. By 2015, a “testing” in dental and gynecological offices was already pointing this finger at this phenomenon. In 2016, Aides’ VHV survey shows that 23.6% of people living with HIV and 27.3% with hepatitis who have been discriminated against have been dismissed by caregiver.
In HIV-infected patients receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART), chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) coinfection is associated with an increased risk for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The findings are published in Annals of Internal Medicine.
The incidence rate of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in HIV-infected persons is about 10 times higher than in the HIV-negative population, and is an important cause of AIDS and death, even for patients receiving ART. Growing evidence indicates that some infections increase the risk for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma through chronic immune stimulation that occurs in immunocompromised patients. It is unclear whether chronic HBV and HCV infection promote non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in HIV-infected patients.
CINCINNATI–The Black Death swept Europe in the 14th century eliminating up to half of the population but it left genetic clues that now may aid a University of Cincinnati (UC) researcher in treating HIV patients co-infected with hepatitis C using an anti-retroviral drug therapy.
Kenneth Sherman, MD, PhD, Gould Professor of Medicine, says he will look at the blood samples of nearly 3,000 patients, primarily individuals with hemophilia, who were exposed to HIV during the early 1980s and late 1990s, to see if an inherited genetic variant that protects against HIV might also help prevent injury from Hepatitis C and other liver diseases.
Sherman, also director of the Division of Digestive Diseases in the UC College of Medicine, recently received a $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to further the research which focuses on ways to inhibit CCR5, a protein that is the main chemokine receptor on the body’s immune cells, also known as T-cells. The grant will be awarded over a four-year period and builds upon a July 2014 study Sherman authored and published inScience Translational Medicine.
In 2012, shortly after I turned 62, I pronounced myself a senior citizen, eligible for lots of discounts, and also probably due for a complete physical. I got more than I bargained for. What I thought would be routine, turned out to be a life-changing experience.
My blood test results showed that my liver enzymes were high. The next thing I knew, I had a diagnosis of hepatitis C virus and early stage cirrhosis of the liver. I soon learned that hepatitis C is the leading cause of liver cancer and liver transplants. Not only that, but the disease also can be silent for several years without causing symptoms. I suspect I contracted the virus more than 40 years ago. If you want to know how I got it, take one adventuresome and immortal teenager living in San Francisco in the ’60s and go from there. DEALING WITH HEPATITIS C
Gilead sells breakthrough hepatitis C drugs for less overseas Public health experiment brings hepatitis cures to Egypt’s poor
When I received the diagnosis, I was in shock. It only took a minute to go from feeling pretty good about leading a fairly productive life to feeling like scum. I’ve spent more than 20 years working for nonprofit arts organizations, doing volunteer work, enjoying my avocation as a singer-songwriter, having a happy and musical marriage, and being part of a large and boisterous Italian Irish Catholic family. How was I going to tell people? Did I even have to tell them? What about my husband? I was in fear.
The Turnbull government will spend more than $1 billion to make breakthrough hepatitis C cures available to all as part of an ambitious new plan to eradicate the deadly disease within a generation.
Health Minister Sussan Ley will announce the major new Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme listing on Sunday, in a move that will give Australia’s 230,000 hepatitis C sufferers affordable access to the drugs.
The drugs can currently cost patients up to $100,000. Under the subsidy, they will be available for the normal PBS co-payment of $37.70 for general patients and $6.10 for concessional patients.
TORONTO, Dec. 17, 2015 – More than one in nine people with hepatitis C in Canada spend time in a correctional facility each year and researchers said this presents a unique opportunity to focus hepatitis C prevention and control efforts in incarcerated populations.
People who have spent time in correctional facilities have higher risk factors for hepatitis C, including injection drug use and needle sharing, both in custody and in the community, according to the paper published online today in the Canadian Journal of Public Health.
“Incarcerated individuals are more likely to be infected with hepatitis C and more likely to continue the transmission cycle because of their involvement in risky behaviours such as sharing needles,” said Dr. Fiona Kouyoumdjian, a post-doctoral fellow with the Centre for Research on Inner City Health of St. Michael’s Hospital. “Time in custody is a unique opportunity for health-care workers to offer prevention activities to people who may otherwise be difficult to reach.”
Providing sterile syringes is a proven effective method for preventing HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections among people who inject drugs, yet the U.S. government continues to prohibit use of federal funds for this purpose, presenters said at the 2015 National HIV Prevention Conference (NHPC) last week in Atlanta. A federal budget bill now under consideration could lift the funding ban on syringe exchange programs.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “high-impact prevention” initiative aims to target the right combinations of scientifically proven, cost-effective, and scalable interventions to the right people, at the right time, and in the right geographic areas — and syringe exchange and distribution programs have been shown to fill that role for injection drug users.
Syringe distribution is “cost-effective and cost-saving,” Jonathan Mermin, director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, said in his plenary talk on high-impact prevention.