In the Journals

CDC: National Hepatitis C Testing Day is May 19

May 19 is the sixth annual National Hepatitis C Testing Day, a part of Hepatitis C Awareness Month. According to the CDC, many people live with chronic hepatitis for decades without symptoms and may be unaware of having the infection. The CDC encourages health care providers to educate patients about HCV and viral hepatitis testing.

In 2016, The White House hosted an observation on May 19, during which President Barack Obama issued a proclamation recognizing National Hepatitis Testing Day, according to a report from the HHS.

In the proclamation, the president stated, “On this day, let us rededicate ourselves to ensuring all people with viral hepatitis know their infection status and have access to necessary care and resources. Let us honor those we have lost too soon, and let us recognize the many individuals working tirelessly to address this disease, develop treatments, and save lives.”

Healio.com/Hepatology recently covered several studies and industry developments on hepatitis testing from International Liver Congress, Digestive Disease Week and journal publications.

HDV testing underused in HBV monoinfection, HBV/HIV coinfection

CHICAGO — Researchers found that HDV testing was underused in varying patient populations, including patients with hepatitis B and patients with HBV/HIV coinfection, according to a presentation at Digestive Disease Week.

“The recommendations for testing for the delta virus are different among the different guidelines,” Parham Safaie, MD, from the University of Cincinnati, said in a presentation. “For instance, the AASLD guideline recommend testing for the delta antibody of the virus only in those individuals at risk, including subjects from high endemic areas and those with history of intravenous drug use. Whereas the EASL ... recommend for HDV, systematically, in all subjects with positive surface antigen. With that background in mind, in this work we sought to determine the frequency of testing for the delta virus among those with chronic HBV infection [and HBV/HIV coinfection].” Read more

WHO launches first ever global hepatitis report

AMSTERDAM — While progress has been made in the global burden of hepatitis, there is still much to be done to achieve eradication by 2030, according to WHO, which released its first ever global hepatitis report at the International Liver Congress.

“We are in the era of elimination,” Gottfried Hirnschall, MD, MPH, director of department of HIV and global hepatitis program, WHO, said during a press conference. “The hepatitis train has left the station. ... We still have a long way to go. We have to push forward and push forward dynamically. And we have to do it together.” Read more

Multi-disciplinary hepatitis C treatment program yields results

A hepatitis C treatment program at an urban safety-net hospital that utilized a public health social worker, general internists trained in hepatitis C treatment, pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians led to nearly one out of every four referrals receiving treatment, according to research recently published in Annals of Family Medicine.

“Prior studies have demonstrated that general internists can successfully deliver [hepatitis C virus (HCV)] care for urban underserved patients in primary care settings,” Karen E. Lasser, MD, MPH, general internal medicine section, Boston Medical Center, and colleagues wrote. “We are unaware, however, of primary care treatment programs in the era of newer oral medications. The simplicity of oral regimens that have few side effects and are effective across genotypes enables primary care physicians to provide treatment.” Read more

Rise of HCV among reproductive-age women suggests need for screening

A recent substantial increase in hepatitis C virus infection among reproduction-aged women in the United States highlights a need for routine HCV screening during pregnancy, according to recent data published in Annals Internal Medicine.

“The prevalence of HCV infection among pregnant women has been difficult to determine, because HCV screening is not performed routinely in this population but rather is risk based,” Kathleen N. Ly, MPH, from the Division of Viral Hepatitis at the CDC, and colleagues wrote. “As a result, many HCV infections may go undetected because of under-recognition of risk behaviors, as well as concerns about stigmatization or legal consequences if risk behaviors are disclosed.” Read more

Global HCV elimination requires changes in prescribing, access, policy

AMSTERDAM — Achieving global elimination of hepatitis C requires actionable plans and changes on many levels of society from allowance of non-specialist prescribing to universal access, a group of experts explained at the International Liver Congress.

“Eliminating HCV really does require a national plan,” Jeffery V. Lazarus, MD, senior researcher at the Centre for Health and Infectious Disease Research and WHO Collaborating Centre on HIV and Viral Hepatitis at Rigshospitalet, the University of Copenhagen, said during his presentation. “Having a plan at the national level also represents the kind of commitment we need to eliminate HCV. ... A shift is required from individual management for HCV to population management.” Read more

VIDEO: Pharmacy-delivered HCV therapy reached more injection drugs users

AMSTERDAM — In this exclusive video from International Liver Congress, John Dillon, MD, from the University of Dundee, Scotland, discusses new pathways of care for patients with hepatitis C, particularly those who inject drugs.

“If we really want to get into the treatment as prevention agenda with hepatitis C, we have to move toward elimination of this disease, we have to prevent infections. And the big groups that are driving infection in most countries are now people who inject drugs,” Dillon said. “Opportunities for interacting with those patients are within needle exchanges or within pharmacies, particularly with patients who are on opioid substitution therapy if they were previously injecting heroin or are still injecting heroin and interacting with the pharmacies.” Watch video

References: www.cdc.gov; www.hhs.gov; www.whitehouse.gov

May 19 is the sixth annual National Hepatitis C Testing Day, a part of Hepatitis C Awareness Month. According to the CDC, many people live with chronic hepatitis for decades without symptoms and may be unaware of having the infection. The CDC encourages health care providers to educate patients about HCV and viral hepatitis testing.

In 2016, The White House hosted an observation on May 19, during which President Barack Obama issued a proclamation recognizing National Hepatitis Testing Day, according to a report from the HHS.

In the proclamation, the president stated, “On this day, let us rededicate ourselves to ensuring all people with viral hepatitis know their infection status and have access to necessary care and resources. Let us honor those we have lost too soon, and let us recognize the many individuals working tirelessly to address this disease, develop treatments, and save lives.”

Healio.com/Hepatology recently covered several studies and industry developments on hepatitis testing from International Liver Congress, Digestive Disease Week and journal publications.

HDV testing underused in HBV monoinfection, HBV/HIV coinfection

CHICAGO — Researchers found that HDV testing was underused in varying patient populations, including patients with hepatitis B and patients with HBV/HIV coinfection, according to a presentation at Digestive Disease Week.

“The recommendations for testing for the delta virus are different among the different guidelines,” Parham Safaie, MD, from the University of Cincinnati, said in a presentation. “For instance, the AASLD guideline recommend testing for the delta antibody of the virus only in those individuals at risk, including subjects from high endemic areas and those with history of intravenous drug use. Whereas the EASL ... recommend for HDV, systematically, in all subjects with positive surface antigen. With that background in mind, in this work we sought to determine the frequency of testing for the delta virus among those with chronic HBV infection [and HBV/HIV coinfection].” Read more

WHO launches first ever global hepatitis report

AMSTERDAM — While progress has been made in the global burden of hepatitis, there is still much to be done to achieve eradication by 2030, according to WHO, which released its first ever global hepatitis report at the International Liver Congress.

“We are in the era of elimination,” Gottfried Hirnschall, MD, MPH, director of department of HIV and global hepatitis program, WHO, said during a press conference. “The hepatitis train has left the station. ... We still have a long way to go. We have to push forward and push forward dynamically. And we have to do it together.” Read more

Multi-disciplinary hepatitis C treatment program yields results

A hepatitis C treatment program at an urban safety-net hospital that utilized a public health social worker, general internists trained in hepatitis C treatment, pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians led to nearly one out of every four referrals receiving treatment, according to research recently published in Annals of Family Medicine.

“Prior studies have demonstrated that general internists can successfully deliver [hepatitis C virus (HCV)] care for urban underserved patients in primary care settings,” Karen E. Lasser, MD, MPH, general internal medicine section, Boston Medical Center, and colleagues wrote. “We are unaware, however, of primary care treatment programs in the era of newer oral medications. The simplicity of oral regimens that have few side effects and are effective across genotypes enables primary care physicians to provide treatment.” Read more

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Rise of HCV among reproductive-age women suggests need for screening

A recent substantial increase in hepatitis C virus infection among reproduction-aged women in the United States highlights a need for routine HCV screening during pregnancy, according to recent data published in Annals Internal Medicine.

“The prevalence of HCV infection among pregnant women has been difficult to determine, because HCV screening is not performed routinely in this population but rather is risk based,” Kathleen N. Ly, MPH, from the Division of Viral Hepatitis at the CDC, and colleagues wrote. “As a result, many HCV infections may go undetected because of under-recognition of risk behaviors, as well as concerns about stigmatization or legal consequences if risk behaviors are disclosed.” Read more

Global HCV elimination requires changes in prescribing, access, policy

AMSTERDAM — Achieving global elimination of hepatitis C requires actionable plans and changes on many levels of society from allowance of non-specialist prescribing to universal access, a group of experts explained at the International Liver Congress.

“Eliminating HCV really does require a national plan,” Jeffery V. Lazarus, MD, senior researcher at the Centre for Health and Infectious Disease Research and WHO Collaborating Centre on HIV and Viral Hepatitis at Rigshospitalet, the University of Copenhagen, said during his presentation. “Having a plan at the national level also represents the kind of commitment we need to eliminate HCV. ... A shift is required from individual management for HCV to population management.” Read more

VIDEO: Pharmacy-delivered HCV therapy reached more injection drugs users

AMSTERDAM — In this exclusive video from International Liver Congress, John Dillon, MD, from the University of Dundee, Scotland, discusses new pathways of care for patients with hepatitis C, particularly those who inject drugs.

“If we really want to get into the treatment as prevention agenda with hepatitis C, we have to move toward elimination of this disease, we have to prevent infections. And the big groups that are driving infection in most countries are now people who inject drugs,” Dillon said. “Opportunities for interacting with those patients are within needle exchanges or within pharmacies, particularly with patients who are on opioid substitution therapy if they were previously injecting heroin or are still injecting heroin and interacting with the pharmacies.” Watch video

References: www.cdc.gov; www.hhs.gov; www.whitehouse.gov