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Welcome to HepInfoNow.org - a website to help you find the information you need about Viral Hepatitis
 

Viral Hepatitis is finally making its way onto the platform of recognition by the media; interest by local, state, and federal governments; devotion of researchers who are opening treatment possibilities never before considered, let alone FDA-approved; and better understanding by the public.

 

On April 3rd 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services released the 2014-2016 HHS Viral Hepatitis Action Plan.  One of the salient issues surrounding the HCV epidemic in the U.S. at present is the number of new cases of HCV acquired through injecting not heroin, but prescription opioids.  Click here to read the latest on the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)'s White House Summit on the Opioid Epidemic.

 

Though 60% of new HCV cases in the U.S. are acquired through intravenous drug use (IDU)—and this has been the case for more than a decade—the degree to which those 15-24 years of age are acquiring HCV because of prescribed opioids has been of great concern to the CDC since 2011.  Click here to read about the HCV epidemic among adolescents and young adults.

And finally, it is well established that approximately 75% of chronic HCV infections are disproportionately found among the Baby Boomer population in the U.S. (those born between 1945 and 1965.  ALL BABY BOOMERS SHOULD HAVE A ONE-TIME TEST FOR EXPOSURE TO HCV.  For more on this urgent issue, please click on The AIDS Institute's Fact Sheet.

The AIDS Institute will continue to report on unfolding events, research, and reports in this arena.

FLORIDA NEWS

 

 

Florida To Convene Annual Viral Hepatitis Council Meeting In August

The Florida Department of Health's HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis Section of the Bureau of Communicable Diseases is once again sponsoring their annual Viral Hepatitis Council Meeting in Tampa, Florida on August 21 and 22, 2014.  

 

The purpose of the meeting is to gain insights from public health and medical experts throughout the state regarding education, training, testing, treatment, and future activities regarding the current HCV epidemic, which weighs disproportionately on Florida.  The outcome of this meeting will yield 'Next Steps' for the formulation of an action plan.

 

 

 

Viral Hepatitis Vaccination and Testing Through Your Local Florida Health Department

Since less than half of the more than 5 million U.S. individuals living with either hepatitis B (HBV) or hepatitis C (HCV) know they are chronically infected, there is a high need for readily available testing in local health departments.  All 67 Florida counties offer free hepatitis A (HAV) and HBV adult vaccination for at-risk individuals. You can locate that information through the above link as well.

 

In addition, 15 Florida county health departments offer HBV and/or HCV testing.  Locate a testing site nearest you by clicking any of the links below.  

 

NOTE: In some cases, you may need to call the HIV, STD or General Clinic contact number in order to determine when Viral Hepatitis testing and vaccination are available.  For other counties, the testing and vaccination information is clearly stated.

 

Alachua County

Bay County

Broward County

Collier County

Duval County

Escambia County

Lee County

Miami-Dade County

Monroe County

Okeechobee County

Orange County

Palm Beach County

Pinellas County

Polk County

Seminole County

 

 

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Michigan inmates may get costly hepatitis C drug

The full article can be found here.

 
The AIDS Institute updates Coverage Guide for National Hepatitis Testing Day
The AIDS Institute releases updated Coverage Guide for Hepatitis Testing on National Hepatitis Testing Day. 
The AIDS Institute Highlights Expanded Access to Hepatitis Testing
In recognition of National Hepatitis Testing Day on May 19th, The AIDS Institute (TAI) released an updated Coverage Guide for Hepatitis Testing.  For the full TAI press release, visit here
 
 
Webinar - Examining hepatitis C virus treatment access: A review of select state Medicaid fee-for-service and managed care programs

The arrival of an HCV cure is an exciting development for the millions of Americans who suffer from HCV. However, the high cost of treatment has led many Medicaid programs across the country to implement treatment access restrictions. The restrictions unfairly limit access and are not based on clinical evidence. Action must be taken!


Join the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation of Harvard Law School, the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable, and HIV Health Reform to learn about a new report that analyzes treatment access restrictions in Medicaid fee-for-service and managed care programs across 10 states. Learn how you can utilize this tool to expand access to the cure in your state.

Presenters include:

  • Robert Greenwald, Director, Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation; Clinical Professor of Law, Harvard Law School

  • Kellen Wittkop, Harvard Law School

  • Ryan Clary, Executive Director, National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable

  • Michael Ninburg, Executive Director, Hepatitis Education Project
Click Here to Register
 
UNC Researchers Discover How Hepatitis C Virus Persists For Years

 

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) lingers in the human body for years, slowly damaging the liver and leading to liver diseases such as hepatitis, cirrhosis and liver cancer, which is often fatal. Research conducted at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has discovered a mechanism that facilitates the virus achieving this life-long persistence. Chronic HCV infection is the leading cause of liver cancer in the United States.

The full article can be found here.

New studies show promise in treating the most difficult cases of hepatitis C with shorter, more effective treatment alternatives that have fewer side effects.

The full article can be found here.

Biochemist's Find is New Hope for Hep B Cure

An Indiana Univ. biochemist’s discovery of a class of anti-viral small molecules that target the function of a virus DNA hidden in the infected livers of hepatitis B patients may lead to a cure for this viral infection that kills more than 600,000 people annually. 

 

The full article can be found here.

Hepatitis C Drug Worth The Price: Opposing View

USA Today: Editorial

 

"Rarely has a drug been introduced that represents a greater improvement in the standard of care than sofosbuvir (trade name Sovaldi). It is the cure that many of my patients have been waiting decades for."

 

The full editorial can be found here.

NASTAD Releases Its 2013 Survey Results for Investing in Health Department HCV Testing

The National Association of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) released its final survey results regarding the need for the federal government to invest in additional HCV testing throughout states and localities. Among recommendations for federal, state and congressional stakeholders, this report outlines 5 key findings about HCV testing activities from state health departments throughout the U.S.  

 

The full report can be found here

 
Daktari Awarded NIH Phase I SBIR for its HCV Diagnostic 

The National Institute of Health has awarded a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to Daktari Diagnostics for a point-of-care hepatitis C diagnostic system. Daktari, which commercializes diagnostic platforms to meet the health care needs in Africa, Asia, and resource-limited settings worldwide, will use the grant funding to continue development of the Daktari HCV assay, which runs on the same point-of-care platform as the Daktari CD4 test used to monitor HIV patients in remote settings. 

 

The full press release can be found here.

Testimonials 

— DR from Bradenton, FL.

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       It's about time that Florida and the nation place a focus on this "Silent Epidemic". HepInfoNow is a very useful tool, indeed!

© 2014 by The AIDS Institute

HepFlorida and HepInfoNow are programs

of The AIDS Institute

                             17 Davis Blvd., Suite 403 Tampa, FL 33606 | T 813.258.5929 / F 888.714.7243

1705 DeSales Street NW, Suite 700 Washington, DC 20036 | T 202.835.8373 / F 888.714.7243

                                                                                Email HepFlorida@theaidsinstitute.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2014 by The AIDS Institute

HepFlorida and HepInfoNow are programs

of The AIDS Institute

17 Davis Blvd., Suite 403 Tampa, FL 33606   |   T 813.258.5929 / F 888.714.7243

1705 DeSales Street NW, Suite 700 Washington, DC 20036  |  T 202.835.8373 / F 888.714.7243

Email HepFlorida@theaidsinstitute.org

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