Proposal to allow syringe distribution on as-needed basis clears Senate committee
“A proposal to loosen restrictions on Delaware’s syringe exchange programs cleared the state Senate’s Health and Social Services committee this week. Delaware first launched syringe exchange programs in 2005, when the strategy intended to stem the spread of Hepatitis C and HIV among intravenous drug users was still relatively contentious. Syringe exchange programs are now a well-established feature of state and local harm reduction campaigns nationwide, but Centers for Disease Control guidance on how they should operate has evolved in the past decade.”

From a Long Battle With Hepatitis C to Care Advocate
“Aaron Ferguson’s diagnosis completely changed his life’s path. Since then, he has helped others overcome their addictions and get hepatitis C (HCV) treatment. In his home state of Texas, a new health initiative is looking to get more people into the continuum of care for this curable virus.”

Hepatitis C diagnosis increasing among pregnant women
“Hepatitis C virus among the U.S. obstetric population rose nearly 10-fold over 20 years, which might reflect an increase in screening or prevalence, according to researchers. “The opioid epidemic and resultant increasing rates of intravenous drug use are thought to account for a large proportion of the rising incidence of HCV infection. However, 50% of individuals with HCV infection report no history of intravenous drug use,” Brittany Arditi, MD, MSCR, resident physician in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center, and colleagues wrote. “As such, there is a knowledge gap with regards to other risk factors, demographic and clinical characteristics, and comorbidities associated with HCV infection among pregnant patients.”

Will Children Born To Hepatitis C-Infected Mothers Also Get The Infection?
“Pregnant women are recommended to get tested for Hepatitis C as the virus can also be transmitted from a mother to her child through birth. According to USCDC, about 6 out of every 100 infants born to mothers with hepatitis C will become infected with the virus. The risk is even higher if the mother has both HIV and hepatitis C.”

More than 200 children cured of hepatitis C in world-first NHS scheme
“More than 200 children in England have been cured of hepatitis C in a world-first treatment programme on the NHS that is likely to eradicate the disease. Hepatitis C is a devastating virus that can infect the liver. Left untreated, it can cause life-threatening damage, including liver cancer. Amid global concern over the disease in recent years, the World Health Organization tasked every country with eliminating it by 2030.”

Correlates of Suboptimal Adherence and Treatment Success for Hepatitis C
“SVR was 96% among the 368 participants reporting no missed doses at week 4 versus 78% for the 27 with suboptimal adherence. In a multivariate model, being younger than 30 and being a U.S. resident was associated with early suboptimal adherence. The authors concluded that self-reported adherence at week 4 was associated with SVR and could be used to identify persons who might need additional adherence support.”

The Hepatitis Fund and the Clinton Health Access Initiative announce high-level donor mobilization conference to eliminate viral hepatitis to be held in Geneva, Switzerland, on May 17, 2023
“Geneva, 4 April 2023 – The Hepatitis Fund and the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) today announced the inaugural Global Hepatitis Resource Mobilization Conference, which will take place in Geneva on May 17, 2023. The high-level conference will be hosted by the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The event is a global call to action to boost financial and political commitment towards viral hepatitis elimination by 2030.”

CHLPI Condemns Court Decision Threatening Access to Preventive Health Care for People at Risk for HIV, Hepatitis C, Cancer, and other Chronic Health Conditions
“The Center for Health Law & Policy Innovation (CHLPI) of Harvard Law School today released the following statement from Liz Kaplan, Director of Health Care Access, condemning yesterday’s court ruling in Braidwood Management v. Becerra. The decision prohibits the federal government from enforcing a key provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As a result, most health insurance plans are no longer required to cover many preventive health care services at no cost to the consumer.”

Toward a vaccine against hepatitis C virus
“A vaccine protecting against chronic infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) is urgently needed to address the ongoing public health crisis caused by this insidious pathogen—a major cause of liver cirrhosis and cancer. Efforts toward development of vaccines were initiated after the discovery of HCV in 1989, but to date, no vaccine has been licensed. An increased understanding of HCV protective immunity and HCV envelope glycoprotein structure and function is paving the way toward rational vaccine design and evaluation.”

Syringe exchange programs can improve L.A. drug population
“Syringe exchange among the unhoused population has been a growing public health concern nationally since the 1980s. However, this issue becomes even more pressing in Los Angeles, where the nation’s largest unhoused population resides.”