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  • Integrating treatment Key findings from a qualitative evaluation of the Enhancing Treatment of Hepatitis C in Opiate Substitution Settings (ETHOS) study

    Posted on March 8th, 2013 TimB No comments

    This study employed qualitative methods  to explore OST service-user and health professional reports concerning the  barriers and facilitators affecting the  delivery and uptake of HCV care and  treatment within OST clinics, including  those in which peer support was offered.

    Qualitative methods are particularly helpful when applied to new and underdeveloped areas of research (such as  HCV treatment and care in OST).  Qualitative methods enable researchers  to understand the ways individuals  perceive and/or experience the impact  of phenomena, which then assists in the  identification of key issues—in this case  the barriers and incentives to HCV care,  treatment delivery and uptake within  OST clinics (Patton, 2002).


  • EIU report highlights low awareness of hepatitis C

    Posted on January 23rd, 2013 TimB No comments

    A report by the Economist Intelligence Unit warns that hepatitis C has become a “silent pandemic” which kills 350,000 people each year.

    The report, funded by Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen unit, speaks of the “urgent need for countries around the world to develop strategies to tackle head-on the growing social and economic issues associated with HCV”. While the total number of infected individuals is unknown due to a lack of available data, the World Health Organisation estimates that 150 million people globally are currently living with the blood-borne infectious disease and up to two-thirds will develop chronic liver disease.

    One in five will develop cirrhosis and HCV is also the leading cause of liver transplantation worldwide – in the USA, the disease now accounts for more deaths than HIV. The report states that it is now considered preventable and with modern treatments, the majority of suffers can become clear of the virus but as few as 10% of patients are currently receiving treatments “and there is a large disparity in care across countries”.

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  • Are major reductions in new HIV infections possible with people who inject drugs? The case for low dead-space syringes in highly affected countries

    Posted on January 16th, 2013 TimB No comments

    Circumstantial evidence from laboratory studies, mathematical models, ecological studies and bio behavioural surveys, suggests that injection-related HIV epidemics may be averted or reversed if people who inject drugs (PWID) switch from using high dead-space to using low dead-space syringes. In laboratory experiments that simulated the injection process and rinsing with water, low dead space
    syringes retained 1000 times less blood than high dead space syringes. In mathematical models, switching PWID from high dead space to low dead space syringes prevents or reverses injection-related HIV epidemics.

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  • Oral substitution treatment of injecting opioid users for prevention of HIV infection (Review)

    Posted on September 7th, 2012 TimB No comments

    Injecting drug users are vulnerable to infection with HIV and other blood borne viruses as a result of collective use of injecting equipment as well as sexual behaviour.

    This review looks at original studies that reported the frequency or prevalence of risk behaviours, or information on HIV infection related to substitution treatment of opioid dependence to assess the extent to which oral substitution treatment prevents the transmission of HIV infection. It was not possible to accurately estimate the extent of reduction, but it is clear that oral substitution treatment reduces risk behaviours and also the probability of HIV infection amongst injecting drug users in substitution treatment.


  • Ireland National Hepatitis C Strategy 2011-2014

    Posted on September 5th, 2012 TimB No comments


    Hepatitis C is a disease of the liver caused by a virus identified in 1989 as the hepatitis C virus. Hepatitis C is a communicable disease that is spread from person to person by contact with infected blood or body fluids. Intravenous drug use and receipt of unscreened blood or blood products are well established as the major risk factors for the acquisition of hepatitis C infection. In comparison with HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and hepatitis B, the virus is much less likely to be spread through sexual contact, household contact or by motherto-child transmission. The distribution of hepatitis C globally differs by time, place and person. In Ireland those  at risk of infection are most often socially excluded groups such as drug users, the homeless and immigrants  from endemic countries.

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  • HIV and Sexual Health in Ireland

    Posted on July 11th, 2012 TimB No comments

    In this video workers from Dublin Aids Alliance talk about the work they do with those individuals and families who have HIV also at the same time highlighting the awareness of HIV and sexual health issues within the wider society.

  • UK :Tackling the Problem of Hepatitis C, Substance Misuse and Health Inequalities

    Posted on June 13th, 2012 TimB No comments

    This document represents a call to action from experts in the fields of addiction and hepatitis in London. It provides a framework with which to address the epidemiological, clinical and financial challenges presented by current rates of hepatitis C among people who have injected drugs and sets out solutions in the form of a blueprint for local commissioners. The london Joint Working group for substance misuse and hepatitis C.


  • Determination of the burden of hepatitis c virus infection in Ireland

    Posted on June 8th, 2012 TimB No comments

    This is a interview with Dr Lelia Thornton of the Health Protection Surveillance Centre in Dublin. This video os based on the recently launched paper ‘Determination of the Burden of hepatitis c virus infection in Ireland’ For more information on the work of the Health Protection Surveillance Centre . Author for correspondence: Dr L. Thornton, Health Protection Surveillance Centre, 25–27 Middle Gardiner St, Dublin 1, Ireland. (Email: Lelia.thornton@hse.ie)

  • The medical profession “needs to wake up” and start doing many more HIV tests

    Posted on April 27th, 2012 TimB No comments

    The medical  profession “needs to wake up” and start doing many more HIV tests, a sexual health and HIV specialist has said. An inexpensive check could save the Irish health services €150 million in the process, he said.

    Dr Colm O’Mahony, a HIV specialist from Dundalk who works with the Countess of Chester NHS Trust Hospital UK, said an estimated 1,500 HIV sufferers remain undiagnosed in Ireland.

    Yet many doctors were reluctant to offer HIV tests to patients due to a perceived stigma among patients. “Doctors need to stop pussyfooting around and start doing the test, letting the patient know the test is being done but not singling it out as something unique and different,” he said.

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  • Greece on the breadline: HIV and malaria make a comeback

    Posted on March 15th, 2012 TimB No comments

    The incidence of HIV/Aids among intravenous drug users in central Athens soared by 1,250% in the first 10 months of 2011 compared with the same period the previous year, according to the head of Médecins sans Frontières Greece, while malaria is becoming endemic in the south for the first time since the rule of the colonels.

    Reveka Papadopoulos said that following savage cuts to the national health service budget, including heavy job losses and a 40% reduction in funding for hospitals, Greek social services were “under very severe strain, if not in a state of breakdown. What we are seeing are very clear indicators of a system that cannot cope.”

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