Our aim was to ‘amplify hope’ by sharing their stories, uplift the people and programs delivering harm reduction services, and raise awareness about the strength and resilience of the harm reduction community across the U.S.
The Board of Supervisors will hear a bi-annual report on the county’s syringe services program from representatives of the Department of Health and Human Services at today’s meeting.
The syringe services program aims to provide sterile needles to people who inject drugs, reducing the transmission of bloodborne pathogens, and to reduce syringe litter.
The latest data from DHHS reports that there are an estimated 7,500 people — one in 18 county residents — who have been diagnosed with hepatitis C, a rate (5.6 percent) far higher than the state’s 1.9 percent, and one that has increased steadily over the past decade.
For the first time, the World Health Organization has published a list of diagnostic tests that it considers essential to every health care system in the world.
The list, published Wednesday, is similar to the agency’s essential medicines list, which the W.H.O. launched in 1977.
In its day, the medicines list was revolutionary because it was both a global guide to rational treatment regimens and because it fostered the idea that certain medicines were so important that they should be available to the whole world, regardless of price.
Results of a survey of liver patient groups from 25 European countries showed that a minority of European prisons provide adequate infectious disease prevention, such as harm reduction programs and hepatitis C screening.
“Given the high prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) among prisoners, disease prevention measures, such as opioid substitution therapy and needle and syringe programs, are currently insufficient in European prison settings,” Rob Bielen, MD, from the Hasselt University in Belgium, and colleagues wrote. “Only a minority of HCV-infected patients in prisons have access to direct-acting antiviral therapy, which can easily and effectively cure HCV.”
The European Liver Patients’ Association commissioned the Hep-CORE study, which was conducted between 2016 and 2017.
Over the past five years, drug regulators in the U.S. have approved a flurry of new medications that effectively cure hepatitis C (HCV) in just a few weeks with negligible side effects.
These cures should come as a welcome relief considering the fact that the U.S. is suffering from an HCV epidemic, with one in 100 Americans chronically infected. But this extraordinary scientific achievement is undercut by a sobering statistic: Only 15% of those diagnosed with hepatitis C have received treatment.
That’s according to a new analysis by the non-profit group Initiative for Medicines, Access and Knowledge, Inc. (I-MAK), which has argued that the high price of these medicines places them out of reach for most people.
Don’t forget to spread the word: May 19th is Hepatitis Testing Day!
Hepatitis Testing Day – May 19
May is Hepatitis Awareness Month and May 19th is national Hepatitis Testing Day in the United States. Millions of Americans have chronic viral hepatitis and most of them do not know they are infected. Hepatitis Testing Day is an opportunity to remind health care providers and the public who should be tested for viral hepatitis.
Four Things You Should Know About Viral Hepatitis:
Hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C are all different diseases.
Each type of hepatitis is caused by a different virus and spread in different ways. Hepatitis A does not cause a long-term infection, although it can make people very sick. Hepatitis B and hepatitis C can become chronic, life-long infections and lead to serious health problems.
Chronic hepatitis is a leading cause of liver cancer.
Chronic hepatitis B and C can cause serious damage to the liver, including liver damage, cirrhosis, and even liver cancer. In fact, more than 60 percent of liver cancer cases are related to hepatitis B or C.
Most people with chronic hepatitis do not know they are infected.
More than four million Americans are living with chronic hepatitis in the United States, but most do not know they are infected. Many people live with chronic hepatitis for decades without symptoms or feeling sick.
Getting tested could save your life.
Lifesaving treatments are available for chronic hepatitis B and new treatments are available that can cure hepatitis C Still, getting tested is the only way to know if you are infected. Take CDC’s Hepatitis Risk Assessment to see if you should be tested for viral hepatitis.
Support the Be #HepAware Thunderclap on May 19th
To further raise awareness and promote Hepatitis Testing Day, please consider participating in & supporting the Be #HepAware Thunderclap on May 19th at 12:00 p.m. EDT/9:00 a.m. PDT. Thunderclap is a tool that allows supporters to sign up in advance and share a unified message simultaneously across social media platforms to create a wave or “thunderclap”. We need 100 supporters for the Thunderclap to take effect, so please visit http://bit.ly/2q2S44e to sign up and share the information widely with your followers as well! Contact Sherry Chen, email@example.com for more details.
Joining the Be #HepAware Thunderclap is easy:
Choose “Support with Twitter”, “Support with Facebook”, and/or “Support with Tumblr” to join in this message with CDC.
Authorize Thunderclap to use your account to send out a one-time post on May 19th.
After you sign up, get the word out to your followers and ask them for their support.
Watch on May 19th at 12:00 p.m. EDT/9:00 a.m. PDT as we raise awareness of viral hepatitis and help others be #HepAware!
Get Involved & Stay Connected
Check out our resource center for free tools and ideas on how to get involved with Hepatitis Awareness Month and Hepatitis Testing Day.
Join the conversation on hepatitis by following @cdchep on Twitter and use hashtags #HepAware, #HepTestingDay, and #hepatitis.
HealthDay News — Many infants who are exposed to hepatitis C virus (HCV) during pregnancy are not screened for HCV infection, according to a study published online May 2 in Pediatrics.
Catherine A. Chappell, MD, from the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues identified and classified pregnant women who delivered between 2006 and 2014 as HCV-infected or HCV-uninfected based on billing codes. Linked infant records were identified and evaluated for HCV tests and the receipt of well-child services at or after 9 months of age.
The researchers found that over the study period, 1,043 pregnant women who delivered (1.2%) were HCV-infected, and HCV prevalence increased by 60%. HCV-infected women were more likely to be <30 years of age (67 vs 53%), be white (93 vs 72%), be insured by Medicaid (77 vs 29%), and have opiate use disorder (68 vs 1%) compared with HCV-uninfected women. The infants of HCV-infected women were more likely to be preterm (22 vs 10%) and of low birth weight (23 vs 8%). Fewer than one-third of the 1,025 HCV-exposed infants with available pediatric records received well-child services (31%), with only 30% of these infants screened for HCV.