"We are working closely with both hospitals to conduct a targeted investigation and ensure all affected parties are properly notified about their potential exposure to the disease," said Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Eli Avila.
There is no evidence that any patients were infected here, Avila said in a statement, but an investigation by the hospitals and state and local health departments is continuing. (More…)
“July 28, 2012, marks the second annual World Hepatitis Day, established in 2010 by the World Health Organization (WHO). Viral hepatitis is a largely silent epidemic; however, it is the leading cause of liver cancer and cirrhosis around the world. Approximately 500 million persons are living with chronic hepatitis B virus or hepatitis C virus infection; most are unaware of their infections, which contribute to nearly 1 million deaths annually.”—World Hepatitis Day — July 28, 2012 (MMWR, 7/27)
National experts in HIV Management and Hepatitis C to meet—live & online—for a 2-day virtual education conference. Choose from seven 1-hour interactive sessions. CME credits available. Click here to register.
Co-infection with hepatitis C increases the risk of death for patients with AIDS by 50%, according to the results of a large study published in the online edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases. A fifth of these deaths were attributable to liver-related causes, five times the rate seen in people with AIDS who were not co-infected.
The investigators also found that a third of co-infected patients were unaware of their hepatitis C infection.
“Please join us in raising awareness about hepatitis B among your families, friends, colleagues and co-workers. Make hepatitis B part of your conversations during the month of May… Working together, we can bring to life the Action Plan’s vision: “A Nation committed to combating the silent epidemic of viral hepatitis.”—
The risk of death due to liver disease is twice as high for patients with chronic hepatitis B infection compared to individuals with chronic hepatitis C, US researchers report in the online edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases.
The study involved gay and other men who have sex with men, most of whom were HIV positive. Hepatitis B remained associated with a two-fold increase in the risk of liver-related death when analysis was restricted to HIV-positive individuals. The risk of liver-related mortality was especially high for people with a low CD4 cell count.
The Food and Drug Administration warned Friday that doctors should not prescribe and patients should not use the hepatitis C drug Victrelis (boceprevir) and the anti-HIV drug ritonavir at the same time because such use reduces the effectiveness of both drugs.
Three cases of acute pancreatitis, one fatal, have led the FDA to put a clinical hold on a trial of an investigational oral drug for hepatitis C called alisporivir, according to the product’s manufacturer.
An official at Novartis broke the news at a press conference held Thursday at the European Association for the Study of the Liver meeting in Barcelona. Read more here.
“‘The only appropriate motivation should be what is the best and fastest way to get cures, not what is best for the shareholders,’ said Dr. Scott Friedman, chief of liver diseases at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York…” Read more here.
“Imagine my excitement when the individual local grassroots hep B campaigns from around the U.S. came together and decided to form a national coalition—Hep B United (the Philadelphia campaign becomes Hep B United Philadelphia). Having a formal national coalition will help local campaigns to become more versatile and more effective, both collectively and individually… they will be able to work with federal and national partners without losing touch with the local campaigns. A unified national presence and identity will also strengthen the ongoing advocacy work to raise awareness among policy makers… Ultimately, all of these benefits will help us better serve our communities.”—
Daniel Chen from the Hepatitis B Foundation has written a great blog post announcing that the local Hep B Free campaign has changed its name to Hep B United Philadelphia. This will bring hep B coalitions across the country together under a united network. We look forward to seeing what exciting work can be accomplished with our national partners!
Visit this website to see where you can return unused prescription drugs on 4/28. National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. More than seven million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs, according to the 2009 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Each day, approximately, 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time according to the Partnership for a Drug Free America.
Prescription drug use can lead to injecting drugs - disposing of unused or wanted medications can help reduce drug use and therefore helps prevent hepatitis C!
This blog post by Dr. Ron Valdiserri, who is Director of HHS’ Office of HIV Planning and Infectious Disease Policy, summarizes highlights from a recent day-long consultation about hepatitis testing. Several programs initiated by Adult Viral Hepatitis Prevention Coordinators across the country are highlighted!
I am very encouraged that the viral hepatitis community is getting it’s advocacy legs under it and starting to be a stronger voice, and ready to be effective at getting federal dollars for viral hepatitis. Ensuring that the HIV and hepatitis folks are working arm-in-arm on this is going to continue to be really important.
I want to hear the hepatitis people yelling as loudly as the HIV folks have been. When it comes to syringe access it’s as important, if not more important given HCV rates among injection drug users, that hepatitis advocates are clear about the importance of these programs.
Meeting Description: Please join colleagues for a presentation and discussion on preparing for Hepatitis Testing Day, May 19, 2012. The webinar will include presentations from the CDC Division of Viral Hepatitis, activities organizations might consider planning, and an opportunity for participants to share their plans.
The incidence of hepatitis C infection is increasing among adolescents and young adults in Pennsylvania, just as it has in other areas in the United States, according to surveillance data for 2003 through 2010.
During that 7-year period, the number of reports of newly recognized confirmed or probable cases of hepatitis C past or present infection among those aged 15-34 years increased from 1,384 to 2,393, representing a near doubling of the rate of cases (from 43 to 72) per 100,000 population, Dr. Sameh W. Boktor reported in a poster at the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Sameh Boktor is the Adult Viral Hepatitis Prevention Coordinator for the state of Pennsylvania. Congratulations on getting your findings in the media, Sameh!
In San Francisco, the drug union received its first grant in 2009, Mr. Jackson said, and got more help in December 2010 from the city’s Hepatitis C Task Force, which advocated for a pilot “supervised injection facility” for intravenous drug users because they often contract hepatitis by using dirty needles. No such facility exists in the United States — a so-called safe injection site in Vancouver, British Columbia, has been considered a success there — and it has become a central goal of the San Francisco union.
Advocates for such a site say it would not only help prevent new hepatitis and AIDS infections but could also provide a contact point for other health services, including rehabilitation, for addicts who are often loath to seek help.
Protease inhibitors and statins taken together may raise the blood levels of statins and increase the risk for muscle injury (myopathy). The most serious form of myopathy, called rhabdomyolysis, can damage the kidneys and lead to kidney failure, which can be fatal. Read more here.
“Among eight patients with hepatitis C genotype 1, the most common form of the disease in the U.S., six had a viral relapse within four weeks after stopping a 12-week regimen with the medicine, GS-7977, plus ribavirin, Gilead said today in a statement. The other patients in the trial are two weeks out from stopping treatment, and haven’t relapsed, the company said.”—Read more: Gilead Drops as Patients Relapse on Hepatitis C Drug - Businessweek
During February’s observance of African American History Month, please join HHS in working to end the unfortunate history of viral hepatitis’ disproportionate impact on the African American community. The Obama Administration is working hard to reduce and eliminate health disparities and achieve health equity.
The new national helpline can be reached toll-free at 877-HELP-4-HEP (877-435-7443), via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on the web at www.help4hep.org. The phone helpline is staffed Monday through Friday, 9 am to 7 pm EST (6 am to 4 pm PST).
The hepatitis C protease inhibitor Victrelis (boceprevir) has some significant drug-drug interactions with common Norvir (ritonavir)–boosted protease inhibitor (PI) combinations, according to preliminary data from a clinical trial and a warning issued to health care providers by Merck on February 6. Read more here.