Week Ending November 15, 2021

Egypt is the world’s first country to eliminate Hepatitis C, Health Ministry claims
“Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population confirmed that Egypt is the first country globally to announce that it has gotten rid of Hepatitis C, thanks to the efforts of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s initiative.”

ADH encourages hepatitis C testing, prevention as cases increase in Arkansas
“LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – As Arkansas sees an increase in hepatitis C cases, the Arkansas Department of Health is encouraging anyone that may have been exposed to get tested.”

SMFM Consult Series #56: Hepatitis C in pregnancy: updated guidelines
” In the United States, the estimated prevalence of antenatal hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is 1% to 4% in single-center studies.1 A national multicenter prospective cohort study estimated an HCV antibody seroprevalence of 0.24% among an obstetric population screened between 2012 and 2015.2”

White House Now Supports Harm Reduction Such as Needle Exchanges
” To fight drug overdoses, HIV and hepatitis, the Biden administration is endorsing harm reduction, including syringe services.”

Wolf Administration Announces Grant Opportunities To Provide Life-Saving Resources For Individuals With Substance Use Disorder
“Harrisburg, PA – This week, the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) announced the availability of $1.3 million in funding to expand drop-in center services for individuals with substance use disorder (SUD) in areas of the commonwealth experiencing high overdose deaths including Allegheny, Bucks, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties.”

HCV in Pregnancy: One Piece of a Bigger Problem
“Mirroring the opioid crisis, maternal and newborn hepatitis C infections (HCV) more than doubled in the United States between 2009 and 2019, with disproportionate increases in people of White, American Indian, and Alaska Native race, especially those with less education, according to a cross-sectional study published in JAMA Health Forum. However, the level of risk within these populations was mitigated in counties with higher employment, reported Stephen W. Patrick, MD, of Vanderbilt University, in Nashville, Tenn., and coauthors.”

NJHRC: Lawmakers and Public Health Experts Applaud Passage of Two Landmark Harm Reduction Bills Through Committee
“Earlier today, public health legislation to decriminalize syringe possession (A-5854) and modernize New Jersey’s restrictive syringe access law (A-4847) advanced through the Assembly Judiciary and Health Committees, respectively.”

FROM AASLD

Risk reduction, increased screening for HCV in MSM is cost saving, effective
“Compared to current practices of annual screening for hepatitis C virus in men who have sex with men, working toward reducing their risk and screening every 6 months could prove cost effective, according to a presentation.”

COVID pandemic put hepatitis elimination efforts ‘further behind’
“Consultations, testing and treatment of hepatitis B and C virus fell significantly during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, with many centers seeing declines of more than 75% in all categories, according to a presentation.”

New estimates reveal declines in hepatitis C treatment initiation in the U.S.
“Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released data on the first estimates of hepatitis C treatment, from 2014-2020, using data from a national prescription claims database, IMS Health & Quintiles (IQVIA). The treatment estimates were presented at this year’s virtual American Association of the Study of Liver Disease (AASLD) meeting as a poster (#926) titled “Hepatitis C treatment in the United States, 2014–2020” by Eyasu Teshale, MD, Division of Viral Hepatitis, CDC.”