Close the bathroom door at Supportive Place for Observation and Treatment (SPOT), and you have two minutes and 50 seconds. Then the alarm sounds, warning staff to check on the person inside. People sometimes inject drugs in SPOT’s bathroom, just as they do in the bathrooms of Starbucks or McDonald’s. The longer you wait to reverse an overdose, the harder it gets. SPOT, run by Boston Health Care for the Homeless, has had to shorten that window, from five minutes, to four, to three, and now, to two minutes and 50 seconds — even a 10-second margin means life or death.
Many people use drugs far from the clinicians who could save their lives if they overdose. And the drugs they use have become more lethal — fentanyl, a synthetic opioid many times more potent than heroin, is now common throughout Massachusetts. People die within minutes after injection. SPOT cares for people who’ve already used. But, it would be better to have clinicians present during the life-threatening moments of and right after drug use.
Supervised injection facilities (SIFs) would provide people more support and clinical care in those most vulnerable moments. SIFs are facilities where people can use drugs under clinical supervision. None currently exist in the United States (with the exception of one underground SIF), but they’ve operated for years in Canada, Europe and Australia. Advocates and lawmakers in the U.S. want to establish SIFs here, too. They meet a need that facilities like SPOT can’t.
HHS/HRSA: HEP Talks series. Hepatitis C and the Opioid Epidemic. In recognition of Hepatitis Awareness Month, join Richard Moore II (Director, HIV and Viral Hepatitis Programs, North Carolina Rural Health Group) for a discussion on hepatitis C treatment strategies for people who inject drugs. May 16, 3:00 pm ET. Join on the day of the event.
Hepatitis C Patient Summit
July 29-30th in Atlanta, GA
The National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable (NVHR) will be hosting a hepatitis C patient summit July 29-30th 2019 in Atlanta, timed with World Hepatitis Day on July 28th. The summit – NVHR’s first national patient gathering – will bring together 100 patients recently cured of or currently living with HCV who have had limited experience engaging in other advocacy programs.
Please share this exciting opportunity within your networks.
This will be an opportunity to build a grassroots advocacy community in the US and ensure that patients are leading state and local hepatitis elimination planning efforts. Applications will officially open on April 29, 2019 and will be open for one month. To learn more or be considered as an attendee for the summit, please fill out the Patient Summit application form. More information can also be found on NVHR’s Patient Summit page, including the dedicated folks who have been involved in its planning: http://nvhr.org/program/PatientSummit/
More than 70 million globally are affected by chronic hepatitis C virus, increasing the risk for the more fatal liver cancer or cirrhosis
Researchers have identified small differences in a liver cell protein that can facilitate the development of a mouse model of chronic hepatitis C (HCV), potentially leading to an effective treatment some day.
More than 70 million people worldwide are affected by chronic HCV, which increases the risk for the more fatal liver cancer or cirrhosis. A lack of animal models has deterred the development of any vaccine.
Hepatitis C is caused by a virus called the hepatitis C virus (HCV). It causes hepatic failure and is a frequent reason for a liver transplant.
HCV causes a host of medical conditions, including inflammation of the liver (hepatitis), the joints (arthritis), the blood vessels (vasculitis), as well as pain and weakness of the muscles. However, it is often completely asymptomatic.
What are the rheumatic manifestations of HCV?
HCV can cause arthritis, but also inflammation of the muscles, tendons and ligaments associated with the joints. These are called rheumatic diseases associated with HCV. Among them the most common presentation is joint pain (23%) and muscle pain (15%), with severe tiredness. Frank arthritis and vasculitis may also occur.
A randomized trial comparing a cash incentive to peer support for increasing acceptance of treatment for hepatitis C virus (HCV) among persons with HCV/HIV coinfection, including those who use drugs or alcohol, found both methods helpful but that 1 in 4 patients still declined treatment.
Although 50% to 90% of persons with HIV who use drugs have HCV co-infection, providing HCV treatment has been challenging because of ongoing barriers to care, according to Kathleen Ward, MSPH, CHES, Senior Research Program Coordinator, Viral Hepatitis Center, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, and colleagues.
“In this population of people living with HIV who use drugs, there are still several challenges to HCV treatment initiation despite increased access to direct-acting antivirals (DAAs)”, Ward told MD Magazine®.
Selin Ocal (‘20) aims to better understand and explain the implications of Hepatitis C in the North Carolina prison population. She will address how testing/treatment in this environment is imperative to disease elimination in the US by utilizing updated HCV patient health data from prisons in North Carolina. Selin ultimately hopes to advocate for better health conditions for the incarcerated population, who often receive poor medical service while imprisoned and often have very little resources upon release.