Hepatitis C Drug Resistance

Direct-acting antiviral drugs (DAAs) to treat hepatitis C have proven to be a spectacular success, being able to cure more than 95% of people who have been living with the virus. However, a growing issue has implications for the design of future DAAs, and that is the ability of the hepatitis C virus–like all viruses–to mutate. Mutant versions of viruses can “learn” to defeat the medications used to treat them by changing their structure or the way they interact with the bodies they infect.

When they help the virus evade the effects of medication, we call these changes “drug resistance mutations” (DRMs), and they can make it much harder to cure infections. When a drug-resistant version of a virus becomes the dominant one, it can make a previously useful drug completely ineffective.

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Asia-Pacific Consensus

Hep Can’t Wait is the international campaign launched by the World Hepatitis Alliance in 2021. Its aim is to highlight the social injustice and inequity caused by the current lack of action on hepatitis elimination, and focus on the positive action needed to meet the world’s 2030 hepatitis elimination goals.

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Harm Reduction

Up to 3,000 lives saved in first year of Take-Home Naloxone program

In the wake of International Overdose Awareness Day (31 August), it’s worth noting that it is now estimated that in its first year alone, the Take Home Naloxone (THN) program has saved 3,000 lives.
The national THN program provides naloxone to anyone who may experience, or witness, an opioid overdose or adverse reaction for free and without a prescription. Since the THN program began on 1 July 2022, an estimated 3,001 doses have been used by Australians experiencing or witnessing an opioid overdose or adverse reaction, which is the equivalent of 8 uses per day. Continue reading “Harm Reduction”

Hep B Trends Falling Short

The Viral Hepatitis Mapping Project looks at geographic variations in the prevalence of viral hepatitis across Australia, as well as access to care, to identify priority areas for response. It is a joint initiative of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Viral Hepatitis Epidemiology, The Doherty Institute and ASHM, funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care.

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How Hep C Hides from the Immune System

Danish scientists have solved the question of how the hepatitis C virus (HCV) hides in humans. With a new method for examining virus samples, researchers from the University of Copenhagen have solved a long-standing mystery about how the virus avoids the human body’s immune defence system. The result may have an impact on how we track and treat viral diseases in general. The study has just been published in the scientific journal Nature.

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Stigma and Discrimination in a Post-Cure World – Part 2

In our last post we looked at how researchers at the Gender, Law and Drugs (GLaD) program at La Trobe University, Melbourne, have been running the Post-Cure Lives Project. This was designed to document the post-cure experiences of people successfully treated for hepatitis C,the views of key stakeholders,and latent and emerging discrimination-related challenges in a hepatitis C post-cure world.

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