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.
Continue reading “Hepatitis C Drug Resistance”
Maureen Cook went from worrying about how long she had to live to planning for a whole new life. It only took her 23 years.
“I found out I had hepatitis C in 2000 when a diligent and insightful GP decided to test me for it when she found out I had hepatitis B back in 1975. I’d cleared the hep B then and didn’t think about it anymore. Didn’t know I had hepatitis C,” she recalled.
Continue reading “Waking to a New Life”
The rate of hepatitis C infections in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Australia is increasing even as infection rate decreases in the wider community. This is despite the introduction of direct-acting antiviral (DAA) drugs that offer the chance to completely eliminate the hepatitis C virus (HCV).
Continue reading “Hep C Treatment Barriers for Rural Aboriginal South Australians”
Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection affects around 3.5 million children worldwide, and in Australia, it’s estimated that it affects at least 4 children per million under 15 years old. Children with chronic hepatitis C infection can suffer from reduced quality of life, social stigmatisation, and inadequate access to specialist care. As with adults, the disease can progress to hepatic fibrosis, chronic liver disease, and hepatocellular cancer.
Continue reading “DAA Treatment for Children”
A recent large-scale study confirms that treating chronic hepatitis C patients with direct-acting antivirals (DAA) leads to improved outcomes and better long-term survival.
Continue reading “More Evidence of DAAs’ Power for Elimination”
Moorundi Aboriginal Controlled Health Service will soon be offering hepatitis C point of care testing (POCT) to the community, along with its new Clean Needle Program (CNP) at the service’s Murray Bridge site. The initiative is part of a push to bring hepatitis rapid testing to regional South Australia, under the umbrella of the world-first National Australia HCV Point of Care Testing Program (HCVPOCT).
Continue reading “Bringing Testing to Community”