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  • Report on Hepatitis C Notifications Quarter 3 2013 – Health Protection Surveillance Centre

    Posted on May 2nd, 2014 TimB No comments

    There were 225 notifications of hepatitis C in quarter 3 2013. This corresponds to a crude notification rate of 4.9 per 100,000 population. This is slightly higher than the 187 cases notified in Q2, but similar to Q1 (n=248). Hepatitis C notifications decreased significantly in 2012 (18%) and in 2013 to date (18%).

    Information on most likely risk factor was available for 58% (n=131) of cases in Q3. Seventy percent (n=91) of these were injecting drug users

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  • Barriers and facilitators of hepatitis C screening among people who inject drugs: a multi-city, mixed-methods study

    Posted on January 16th, 2014 TimB No comments

    People who inject drugs (PWID) are at high risk of contracting and transmitting and hepatitis C virus (HCV). While accurate screening tests and effective treatment are increasingly available, prior research indicates that many PWID are unaware of their HCV status.

    The  results suggest that drug-injecting individuals who reside in non-urban settings, who have poor access to primary care, or who have less education may encounter significant barriers to routine HCV screening. Expanded access to primary health care and prevention services, especially in non-urban areas, could address an unmet need for individuals at high risk for HCV.

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  • Strategies to Address HCV Infection Among Young People who use drugs

    Posted on June 7th, 2013 TimB No comments

    The consultation participants recommended several key public health actions including:

    • Create community-led education and messaging strategies on hepatitis C risks, injection transmission risks (e.g., sharing drug preparation equipment in addition to sharing drug injection equipment), and HCV testing resources.
    • Improve and increase infrastructure for HCV surveillance and data collection.
    • Create age-appropriate (e.g., young adult) substance use and hepatitis C interventions and prevention strategies that are evidence based and effective.
    • Expand both community-based and basic science research activities to better understand how to effectively address the emerging crisis of hepatitis C infection among young IDUs.

    Discussions about this issue are ongoing among the participants and other federal and non-federal partners as we collaborate on ways to stem the tide of new HCV infections among young PWID and connect those already living with HCV to care and treatment for their infection and underlying drug use. With heightened awareness of this evolving epidemic and the attention and engagement of partners from across all sectors of society– including the voices of young people– we can make a positive difference in the lives of these young men and women.

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  • Hepatitis C treatment access and uptake for people who inject drugs: a review mapping the role of social factors

    Posted on May 8th, 2013 TimB No comments

    Evidence documents successful hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment outcomes for people who inject drugs (PWID) and interest in HCV treatment among this population. Maximising HCV treatment for PWID can be an effective HCV preventative measure. Yet HCV treatment among PWID remains suboptimal. This review seeks to map social factors mediating HCV treatment access.

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  • Infectious diseases continue to disproportionately affect drug users

    Posted on November 9th, 2012 TimB No comments

    A report from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) has found that half of people who inject drugs are infected with hepatitis C, one in 100 have HIV and a third have a bacterial infection as a result of their injecting. Almost a quarter of younger injectors (those aged under 25) continue to share needles and syringes.

    In 2011, one in six people who inject drugs were found to have been infected with the hepatitis B virus at some point in their lives. This is a large fall from 2001 when over a quarter had been infected. This fall is due to a programme of hepatitis B vaccination which has specifically targeted this group and in 2011, 76 per cent of injectors accepted the vaccination, up from 37 per cent in 2001.

    The report, ‘Shooting Up – Infections among people who inject drugs in the UK 2011’ which was recently published .

    People who inject drugs are vulnerable to a wide range of viral and bacterial infections which can result in a high level of illness and death. The most common viral infections seen in drug users are hepatitis B and C. Both of these cause inflammation of the liver and are caused by contact with infected blood. In drug users this contact is caused by the sharing of needles and syringes and other equipment used in injecting drugs.

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  • 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.

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  • 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)

  • Perceived Serosorting of Injection Paraphernalia Sharing Networks among Injection Drug users in Baltimore

    Posted on January 30th, 2012 TimB No comments

    We examined perceived serosorting of injection paraphernalia sharing networks among a sample of 572 injection drug users (IDUs). There was evidence for serosorting of high-risk injection behaviors among HIVnegative IDUs, as 94% of HIV-negative IDUs shared injection paraphernalia exclusively with perceived HIV negative networks. However, 82% of HIV-positive IDUs shared injection paraphernalia with perceived HIV-negative networks. The findings indicate a potential risk of rapid HIV transmission. Future prevention efforts targeting IDUs should address the limitation of serosorting, and focus on preventing injection paraphernalia sharing regardless of potential sharing networks’ perceived HIV status.

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  • Hepatitis C and HIV Co-infection

    Posted on January 30th, 2012 TimB No comments

    A significant proportion of HIV positive people in the UK are co-infected with hepatitis C (approximately 83% of HIV positive injecting drug users and 7% of HIV positive gay men). Hepatitis C is an increasingly important cause of illnesses and death amongst  HIV positive people in the era of effective antiretroviral therapy. Addressing HIV/ hepatitis C co-infection must become a strategic priority within health promotion for, and the healthcare of, those groups most at risk.

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  • HCV Antivirals Cost-Effective for Injecting Drug Users

    Posted on January 7th, 2012 TimB No comments

    Antivirals are cost-effective for injecting drug users where the chronic prevalence of hepatitis C virus infection is less than 60 percent, according to a study published in the January issue of Hepatology.

    Antivirals are cost-effective for injecting drug users (IDUs) where the chronic prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is less than 60 percent, according to a study published in the January issue of Hepatology.

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