Weekly News

Weekly news updates are currently posted on our homepages, weekly news pages and sent directly to your inbox to provide up-to-date information on what has been covered in the news regarding hepatitis C and complementary health & wellness in the previous week.

My Choices News Update

Scientists Discover a Deadly Brain Cancer’s Hidden Weakness
“Common and cheap epilepsy drug stops tumor growth in mice. The difficult-to-treat brain cancer glioblastoma steals a person’s mental faculties as it spreads, yet the tumor’s insidious ability to infiltrate neighboring networks in the brain could also prove its undoing.”

Can multivitamins improve memory? A new study shows ‘intriguing’ results
“Americans spend billions of dollars on supplements each year, and roughly 1 in 3 adults report taking a multivitamin. But there is a debate about whether this helps promote good health. A team of researchers wanted to assess how a daily multivitamin may influence cognitive aging and memory. They tracked about 3,500 older adults who were enrolled in a randomized controlled trial. One group of participants took a placebo, and another group took a Silver Centrum multivitamin, for three years. The participants also took tests, administered online, to evaluate memory.”

Junk Food vs Sleep: New Study Reveals Impact of Diet on Sleep Quality
“Summary: Researchers uncovered how an unhealthy diet affects deep sleep quality. The study revealed that consuming a diet high in sugars and saturated fats leads to deterioration in the quality of deep sleep.”

Long COVID Can Make It Tougher to Exercise, and Research Is Revealing Why
“WEDNESDAY, May 31, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Lack of energy for exercise is a common problem for folks with so-called long COVID.”

There’s a Best Time of Day to Exercise for Folks With Type 2 Diabetes
“TUESDAY, May 30, 2023 (HealthDay News) — If you’re one of the millions of folks living with type 2 diabetes, you know that regular exercise can help you keep your blood sugar in check. Now, new research suggests that working out in the afternoon may help maximize these benefits.”

Is Mind-Body a False Distinction?
“It is tempting to think of the mind and body as separate entities, especially if you equate the mind with the brain. But the issue of the relatedness of the brain and mind with the body has become more apparent as numerous professionals try to come to grips with the potential dangers of artificial intelligence.”

Alternative Medicine Use in Pediatric Epilepsy Is Common, but Potentially Risky
“Alternative medicine is commonly used by the families of children with epilepsy, but patients often do not mention it to their physicians, and there is a dearth of scientific evidence supporting many of the most common alternative therapies, according to a new review.”

Ozempic and Wegovy force weight-loss companies to upend their longstanding strategies
“The rise of the popular obesity and diabetes drugs Wegovy and Ozempic have compelled weight-loss companies to fundamentally shift their business models. WeightWatchers and Noom have for years promoted diet and exercise as the primary ways to lose weight, but both recently debuted plans to offer prescriptions for Wegovy and similar drugs as part of a strategy that recognizes obesity as a chronic disease.”

Hepatitis C News Update

Keeping up with changes in HCV guidance: An update on the latest recommendations
“The landscape of the hepatitis C virus epidemic is always changing, and clinicians rely on timely, evidence-based guidance to navigate the evolving terrain, which now includes the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2020, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force also called for implementation of universal screening — a welcome recommendation from an influential policymaking group. However, messaging and uptake was understandably waylaid by the COVID-19 pandemic, which occurred at the same time. Indeed, U.S. data from the early pandemic supports this, wherein HCV RNA testing remained at 39% below baseline in July 2020. Decreases in HCV testing translate into decreases in treatment; in the same study, there was a contemporaneous decline in the number of HCV treatments dispensed. This is the reason we wanted to highlight the importance of universal HCV screening with this update — to make sure that this recommendation was again underscored so that we can increase HCV screening rates to above and beyond pre-pandemic levels.” See the new IDSA/AASLD guidelines here

L.A. County wants to curb riskier fentanyl use. Its approach worries some activists
“By a line of ragged RVs slung along 78th Street in South Los Angeles, a seven-member team passes out glass pipes used for smoking opioids, crack and methamphetamine. Part of the front line of Los Angeles County’s offensive against the deadly fentanyl epidemic, the group hands out other supplies: clean needles, sanitary wipes, fentanyl test strips and naloxone, medication that can reverse an overdose.”

Free STI testing and other health services now available at IndyGo’s downtown transit center
“Indianapolis residents can now get free tests for sexually transmitted infections at IndyGo’s mobile health clinic at Carson Transit Center downtown. IndyGo added two new partnerships to its Wellness in Transit program.  It has partnered with nonprofit Step-Up, Inc., to provide free STI, HIV and hepatitis C tests. IndyGo has also partnered with the federally qualified health center Adult and Child Health to assess for housing assistance referral needs and other support services — like mental health care, substance use services and help getting identification crucial for securing housing, employment and banking. People can access the free services every Tuesday from 1 to 4 p.m. They do not need health insurance or an ID to receive care.”

Free hepatitis C, HIV and syphilis testing for the month of June
“Southeastern Idaho Public Health will be offering free hepatitis C, HIV and syphilis testing to at-risk individuals throughout the month of June in all its county locations. Testing only takes a few minutes and you can get results before you leave. Visit siphidaho.org to locate a clinic near you. Same-day appointments are available. There is only one way to know — get tested.”

Welcoming HEP’s new Executive Director, Apoorva Mallya
“Apoorva comes to HEP from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he spent the last 15 years working on his passion of delivering health services to the most vulnerable across the world.”

Barriers and enablers to testing for hepatitis C virus infection in people who inject drugs – a scoping review of the qualitative evidence
“Injection drug use is the primary mode of transmission of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in the developed world and guidelines recommend screening individuals with current or history of injection drug use for HCV; however, the majority of those living with HCV in Canada are not aware of their positive status. This low level of HCV status awareness suggests that screening is not effective with current testing strategies. The aim of this review is to determine what barriers and enablers people who inject drugs (PWID) experience surrounding testing for HCV to help inform the development of an engaging testing strategy.”

Evaluation of the Cherokee Nation Hepatitis C Virus Elimination Program — Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma, 2015–2020
“Approximately 2.4 million persons in the United States have hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, and 66,700 acute HCV infection cases were estimated for 2020 (1,2). American Indian or Alaska Native (AI/AN) persons are disproportionately affected by HCV infection and experienced the highest rates of acute HCV infection (2.1 cases per 100,000 persons) and HCV-associated mortality (10.17 per 100,000 persons) in the United States during 2020 (1). During 2015, Cherokee Nation Health Services (CNHS) in Oklahoma implemented an HCV elimination program, which includes universal HCV screening, primary HCV workforce expansion, and harm reduction services (3). To assess progress 5 years after program initiation, CNHS analyzed deidentified health record data.”

State, federal grants fund ‘Connect to Cure’ for hepatitis C
“Hoosiers living with or at risk of contracting hepatitis C will now have access to screenings, care and treatment at 19 different locations in 16 counties across the state through “Connect to Cure” — a collaboration between the state and Marion County organizations.”

My Choices News Update

Unlocking Resilience: Five Ways to Prioritize Your Mental Health
“WRNMMC, Bethesda, Md.  –  In today’s fast-paced health care environment, it’s more important than ever to prioritize mental health to build resilience, and in honor of National Mental Health Awareness Month and Staff Resiliency Week at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Dr. Kristine Diaz, a personnel psychologist, shares five ways staff members can prioritize their mental health to unlock resilience.”

Brain signatures for chronic pain identified in a small group of individuals
“For the first time, researchers have recorded pain-related data from inside the brain of individuals with chronic pain disorders caused by stroke or amputation (phantom limb pain). A long sought-after goal has been to understand how pain is represented by brain activity and how to modulate that activity to relieve suffering from chronic pain. Data were collected over months while patients were at home, and they were analyzed using machine learning tools. Doing so, the researchers identified an area of the brain associated with chronic pain and objective biomarkers of chronic pain in individual patients.”

Clinical screening helps identify family members at risk for heart muscle disease
“COLUMBUS, Ohio – A multi-site study led by researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and College of Medicine shows the importance of clinical screening for dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in family members of patients diagnosed with the heart muscle disease. The five-year study found cardiovascular screening identified new DCM-related findings in 1 of 7 first-degree family members (children, siblings or parents) previously unknown to have DCM. The findings did not differ by race, ethnicity or sex.”

Effects of ketogenic diet on health outcomes: an umbrella review of meta-analyses of randomized clinical trials
“Systematic reviews and meta-analyses of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) have reported the benefits of ketogenic diets (KD) in various participants such as patients with epilepsy and adults with overweight or obesity. Nevertheless, there has been little synthesis of the strength and quality of this evidence in aggregate.”

Poor diet adherence, sleep disorders synergistically increases mortality risk
“Poor adherence to the Mediterranean diet plus the presence of sleep disorders impacted cardiovascular and all-cause mortality but not cancer mortality. It is the first study to confirm the interaction, researchers said.”

How to cut back on junk food in your child’s diet – and when not to worry
“Trust me, I know how exhausting it can be to figure out how to feed your kids a healthy diet while also living in the real world as a busy working parent with limited time and means.”

What Happens When We Classify Kids’ Weight as a ‘Disease’?
“On January 9 of this year, the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) published their “Clinical Practice Guideline for the Evaluation and Treatment of Children and Adolescents with Obesity.” With this guidance, the AAP is advising doctors and other providers that the “monitoring” and “watchful waiting” approaches are no longer valid.”

Walking is a powerful tool to boost brain health and overall well-being
“A groundbreaking study conducted by the University of Maryland School of Public Health has revealed the remarkable benefits of regular exercise, specifically walking, for the health of our brain. According to the researchers, the positive cognitive impacts of walking are especially noticeable in older adults.”

Encouraging caregivers to care for their own health, one story at a time
“As Black women who are caregivers struggle to find the time and willpower to exercise and improve their diets, Dr. Abiola Keller’s nursing research uses shared storytelling as a promising way to find healthier paths.”

Hepatitis C News Update

5 keys to dramatically increasing hepatitis C screening
“When the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended in 2013 that every baby boomer in America—adults born between 1945 and 1965—be screened for hepatitis C, it represented a mammoth challenge to physicians and health care organizations.”

Chelsea Clinton Weighs in on Viral Hepatitis Elimination Goal
“Eliminating viral hepatitis by 2030 requires support and funding from organizations large and small.”

PhD Graduates Have Questions – and Answers
“Research is critical to healthcare, from improving treatments to finding causes, and CU Pharmacy’s PhD graduates are up for the challenge.”

High correlation of hepatic shear wave velocity with esophageal varices complication rate in patients with chronic liver diseases
“Histological evaluation by liver biopsy is considered the gold standard for assessing liver disease; however, it is highly invasive. Non-invasive liver stiffness measurement by shear wave elastography (SWE) is effective for evaluating the hepatic fibrosis stage and related diseases. In this study, we investigated the correlations of liver stiffness with hepatic inflammation/fibrosis, functional hepatic reserve, and related diseases in patients with chronic liver disease (CLD).”

These Founders Provide Underserved Communities Free At-Home Testing For Sexually Transmitted Diseases Through HealthyMD
“Co-founders Clifford W. Knights II and Steve Vixamar have launched various ventures in the health space, but now they have something else up their sleeves. With several IMG Health Clinic storefronts already under their belt, the two expanded their efforts with sexual Telehealth platform HealthyMD.”

Hepatitis C Virus Disproportionately Affects Immigrants, Study Finds
“Rates of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection were 10% higher among immigrants in Canada than nonimmigrants, with refugees accounting for 30% of all diagnoses, according to a recent study that could help develop targeted screening for the disease.”

7 Dangers of Not Treating Hepatitis C
“This infectious disease has few symptoms at first. But ignoring it can lead to real trouble.”

Experts tackle misunderstandings about Hep C treatment
“In 2016, Maia Hughes decided to begin recovery after 13 years of substance abuse. But it wasn’t only substance use disorder she needed to address. She had also tested positive for hepatitis C, a virus that spreads through blood.”

Collaborative Integrative Care Helps Improve the Cascade of HCV Treatment Among Marginalized Populations
“Implementing a collaborative care hepatitis C virus (HCV) program aimed at targeting marginalized populations, including those imprisoned and patients with HIV, has had a big impact toward improving the cascade of care for patients with HCV.”

New report finds high numbers of Philadelphians are living with hepatitis C and hepatitis B
“1 in 20 Philly residents have reported testing positive for hepatitis B and hepatitis C, but the actual numbers may be even higher, since many cases go undetected.”

Maine has nation’s highest rate of hepatitis C, 2nd-highest rate of hepatitis B
“Maine had the highest rate of new hepatitis C cases and the second-highest rate of hepatitis B cases in 2020, according to data released by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cases of hepatitis C in Maine increased dramatically from 3.2 per 100,000 people in 2019 to 11.9 per 100,000 people in 2020, the most recent year for which data is available. The national rate was 1.5 cases per 100,000 people in 2020.”

State is investigating potential exposure to hepatitis, HIV at Coalinga State Hospital
“Questions surround an investigation into potential exposure to hepatitis C and HIV at Coalinga State Hospital, a state-run psychiatric hospital in Central California. Documents shared with KVPR suggest the exposures originated in the hospital’s pain management clinic.”


Hepatitis C Is Curable — So Why Is It Still So Stigmatized?
“When Devin was first diagnosed with Hepatitis C, she was in a state of shock. “It was one of those things that no one had really educated me about, [because] nobody ever talked about it,” she says.”

My Choices News Update

 How should I integrate exercise and mindfulness into my ADHD treatment plan?
“How should you treat adult ADHD? In this 8-part guide, you’ll find expert answers to the questions that will help you make key decisions about ADHD treatment.”

Cold plunges emerge as new wellness trend
“BALTIMORE — Cold plunges have become the hottest wellness trend. Social media is filled with people posting videos from their backyard ice baths. Celebrities like Harry Styles, Lady Gaga, and Lizzo make it part of their routines.”

Chronic pain more prevalent than diabetes, depression
“Reported cases of chronic pain in the United States grew at a much faster rate than other persistent conditions from 2019 to 2020, according to a new analysis of survey data.”

Ultra-processed foods may increase depression risk, long-term study shows
“Almost everything we eat is processed — merely by preparing and cooking a food, you are processing it. However, ultra-processed food is a different matter.”

You’re eating too fast! Slow down!
“Your mother was right … chew your food!”

Can’t reach your diet and exercise goals? Bad sleep may be to blame
“DALLAS — A good night’s sleep may make it easier to stick to exercise and diet goals, according to a new study. Researchers working with the American Heart Association found that individuals who reported consistent, uninterrupted sleep were more successful in sticking to their exercise and diet plans during their weight loss efforts.”


How a baby’s early experiences can shape their health later in life
“Pediatricians have long known that early experiences like responsive, nurturing relationships with caregivers and sound nutrition are important for a child’s brain development. Now, researchers are learning more about how these early influences can impact a child’s immune, metabolic, and cardiovascular systems as they get older.”

Hepatitis C News Update

To Eliminate HCV Among Persons Who Use Drugs: Embrace The Complexity
“According to a recent report from Harvard’s Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation and the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable, since 2017, many states have removed restrictions to treating hepatitis C virus (HCV) for persons enrolled in state Medicaid programs. The title of the report’s press release enthusiastically refers to “a tide of momentum washing away barriers to hepatitis C treatment” but cautions that improvements in health care infrastructure will be necessary to “ride this wave” forward to achieving HCV elimination.”

NHS England launches new hepatitis C self-testing kits
“The National Health Service (NHS) England has launched new self-testing kits as part of its Hepatitis C elimination programme. To conduct the test, a small blood sample is obtained through a finger prick and placed in a test tube. The test tube is then sent to a lab for analysis. The primary objective of the new self-testing kits is to target individuals who may not be engaged with other services such as prison and probation services and drug and alcohol support.”

Enhancing Linkage to Care by Integrating Prenatal and HCV Care
“Although universal hepatitis C virus (HCV) testing is advised for pregnant patients, there is little connection between HCV care and postpartum HCV treatment. Therefore, for a retrospective cohort study, researchers sought to assess the impact of an innovative healthcare delivery model for pregnant patients with active HCV infection on engagement with HCV treatment.”

Rapid hepatitis C virus point-of-care RNA testing and treatment at an integrated supervised consumption service in Toronto, Canada: a prospective, observational cohort study
“Despite high burden of Hepatitis C (HCV) among people who inject drugs, significant barriers to care persist. The aim of this study was to evaluate the provision of rapid, low-barrier point-of-care (POC) HCV RNA testing and linkage to care among clients of a supervised consumption service (SCS) located within a community health centre in Toronto, Canada. Secondary aims included measuring HCV RNA prevalence at baseline, HCV incidence during follow-up and exploring factors associated with HCV RNA positivity and treatment uptake.”

Getting tested for Hepatitis C can be a life saver
“Please consider asking your doctor to test for Hepatitis C. The CDC recommends that every citizen be tested at least once in their life. In 1978, when I was 15, I had open heart surgery when a transfusion gave me Hepatitis C. In my 40s, we started regular blood labs because I felt fatigued. For many years, doctors in our town noted my unchanging mildly elevated ALT and AST liver values, but never tested for Hepatitis C. Mild elevation of ALT and AST is associated with many health problems, but it’s also a signature calling card of Hepatitis C attacking the liver! I was 58 before scary sickness finally forced me to seek health care outside of our community. My new doctor took one look at my long unbroken record of elevated ALT and AST and ran the Hep C test that diagnosed my condition. The anti-viral treatment was simple and my ALT/AST returned to normal instantly. I am now clear of Hepatitis C, but I will live with damage from those many untreated years before that easy test. I am thankful for the scientists who discovered the effective cure and for the health care worker who ran the test. Ask for a Hepatitis C test. The liver you save may be your own.

How to Talk to Your Partner About Your Hep C Diagnosis
“Sexually transmitted diseases, infections and other bloodborne viruses can often be an awkward topic of discussion. Unfortunately, there are stigmas that surround them, drawing from bigger, systemic issues like gender expectations and how we should feel about our bodies. If you have feelings of shame or fear around your diagnosis—take a deep breath. A diagnosis does not determine your value as a human being or a partner.”

A Proclamation on National Hepatitis Testing Day, 2023
“Thousands of Americans die every year of viral hepatitis — infections of the liver that can be managed or cured if patients know they are infected and can get treatment.  On National Hepatitis Testing Day, we urge Americans to get tested and recommit to ensuring that those who are diagnosed can receive lifesaving care.”

What doctors wish patients knew about hepatitis A, B and C
“Viral hepatitis is a global epidemic that affects millions of people worldwide. But the tricky part is that infections with the hepatitis viruses may not show symptoms, causing many to be unaware they have this condition. In fact, many people who have acquired viral hepatitis do not realize they are infected.”

Hepatitis Awareness Month: Recognizing HIV and Hepatitis C Virus Coinfection
“During the month of May, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) recognizes Hepatitis Awareness Month and Hepatitis Testing Day on May 19. It is a time to raise awareness about the impact of viral hepatitis among people with HIV and encourage those with HIV to get tested for hepatitis C virus (HCV). HIV and viral hepatitis are syndemic conditions, or a set of linked health conditions, that adversely interact with each other and contribute to a greater impact of disease. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HCV is one of the primary causes of chronic liver disease in the U.S., and approximately 21 percent of people with HIV also have HCV.”

Expanding HCV Care: Effectiveness of Accessible Testing and Treatment for People Who Inject Drugs
“By implementing rapid point-of-care HCV RNA testing in supervised consumption services, a study achieved high testing acceptance and successful engagement with HCV care among individuals who inject drugs.”

My Choices News Update

What if Health Insurance Covered Mindfulness?
“A $3.1 million NIH grant supports Professor Blair T. Johnson and collaborators from Brown University in analyzing the effectiveness of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) interventions”

How to Disarm Shame Mindfully
“Shame resulting from adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and attachment disruptions imprints in the brain in the earliest months of life. Because the logical, verbal left brain is not sufficiently developed, shame lodges in the nonverbal right brain, with its strong connection to the emotional and survival brain. Shame, then, registers primarily not as words, but as a felt sense—dread, self-contempt, physical sensations, and images—largely beneath conscious awareness.”

Side effects of eating too many chia seeds: Is overindulging a health risk?
“The fiber-rich seeds in chia seeds help support heart health, but how much should you eat? There are many culinary applications for chia seeds, including making silky pudding, fiber-rich smoothies, and adding crunch to oat bars. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, these small but mighty seeds that come from the Salvia Hispanica plant are loaded with nutrition and health benefits. Chia seeds, for instance, are rich in soluble fiber, protein and omega-3 fatty acids.”

The Center for Occupational & Environmental Medicine Discusses Lyme Disease and Co Infections from the Lyme Bacterium Borrelia Burgdorferi
“Charleston, South Carolina – The Center for Occupational & Environmental Medicine, a functional, integrative, and environmental medicine clinic is educating patients on the causes, symptoms, and treatments of Lyme disease. Lyme disease is an infection caused by Borrelia Burgdorferi, a spirochete bacterium carried by deer ticks and transmitted to humans through a bite. When the bacterium invades the bloodstream, it causes inflammation in various bodily systems starting with the skin and later spreading to the joints, nervous system, and even other organs of the body. According to Dr. Stephen Elliott, from COEM, in the later stages, Lyme can adversely impact the heart, short-circuiting the heart’s electrical system (atrioventricular block) and causing a variety of symptoms including lightheadedness, palpitations, shortness of breath, and fatigue.”

Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation Urges Patients to Use Only FDA-Approved Oxygen Delivery Devices
“CHICAGO , May 8, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The medical advisory board of the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF), the nation’s leading pulmonary fibrosis (PF) research, education, and advocacy organization, has issued a position statement on non-prescription supplemental oxygen.”

UCI researchers discover new drugs with potential for treating world’s leading causes of blindness in age-related and inherited retinal diseases
“Newswise — Irvine, CA – May xx, 2023 – In a University of California, Irvine-led study, researchers have discovered small-molecule drugs with potential clinical utility in the treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy (DR), and retinitis pigmentosa (RP). The study, titled, “Stress resilience-enhancing drugs preserve tissue structure and function in degenerating retina via phosphodiesterase inhibition,” was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.”

Michelle Obama launches a food company aimed at healthier choices for kids
“Michelle Obama is taking on a new role as the co-founder of PLEZi Nutrition, which aims to market food and beverages for kids that are both tasty and healthy. The company, which announced its launch Wednesday, is starting with a line of low-sugar, nutrient-dense kids’ drinks made from a fruit-juice blend.”

Can obstructive sleep apnea negatively impact brain health?
“Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type of sleep-breathing disorder that affects nearly a billion individuals across the globe. A recent study published in Neurology suggests that obstructive sleep apnea and a reduction in deep sleep, also known as slow-wave sleep, were independently associated with an increase in white matter abnormalities in the brain.”

The Role of Nutrition: Top Ideas for Supporting Employee Well-Being and Encouraging Healthy Eating Habits
“As a corporate wellness magazine, we understand the importance of a healthy workforce. Employee well-being is crucial to the success of any company, and nutrition plays a vital role in achieving it. A well-balanced diet is not only essential for maintaining physical health but also has a significant impact on mental health, energy levels, and overall productivity. In this article, we will explore the top ideas for supporting employee well-being and encouraging healthy eating habits.”

High-Impact Exercise Is Actually *Good* For The Body. So Why Did It Get Such A Bad Rep?
“From jogging to pickleball to burpees, the category is bigger and broader than ever before. Oh, and the benefits abound, per research. What to know about this misunderstood method, ahead.”

WHO advises not to use non-sugar sweeteners for weight control in newly released guideline
“Geneva, 15 May 2023 — The World Health Organization (WHO) has released a new guideline on non-sugar sweeteners (NSS), which recommends against the use of NSS to control body weight or reduce the risk of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). The recommendation is based on the findings of a systematic review of the available evidence which suggests that use of NSS does not confer any long-term benefit in reducing body fat in adults or children. Results of the review also suggest that there may be potential undesirable effects from long-term use of NSS, such as an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and mortality in adults.”

Hepatitis C News Update

Insured women were 15 times more likely to initiate hepatitis treatment
“Women who reported having health insurance were significantly more likely to initiate hepatitis C treatment vs. women without health insurance, according to a study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.”

Both medical and social factors linked with accelerated brain ageing in people living with HIV
“Heart disease risk factors, hepatitis C and detectable HIV emerged as key factors associated with older-appearing brain structures in people with HIV. Social factors, such as unemployment and living in a poorer neighbourhood also appear to play a central role. The study examined structural brain changes that are visible on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.”

PAHO and AIDS Healthcare Foundation to collaborate on elimination of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases in Latin America and the Caribbean
“Washington, DC, May 2, 2023 (PAHO)- The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) have agreed to work together to contribute to efforts to eliminate HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), viral hepatitis, mpox and other sexually transmitted infections such as syphilis in Latin America and the Caribbean.”

Hepatitis Awareness Month: Recognizing the Syndemic of Viral Hepatitis, HIV, STIs, and Substance Use Disorder
“May is Hepatitis Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness that viral hepatitis continues to be a major public health threat in the United States. While we bring attention to viral hepatitis this month, we also recognize that the epidemic of viral hepatitis does not occur in a vacuum, but interacts with other diseases like HIV, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and substance use disorders, also known as a syndemic.”

Liver Cirrhosis Linked to Lower COVID Vaccine Response
“While people with chronic liver disease generally responded to COVID-19 vaccines, being older and having liver cirrhosis were linked to weaker responses, according to study results published in JHEP Reports. The good news is that people with viral hepatitis and those on antiviral treatment had better vaccine responses.”

More Socially Vulnerable Areas in the US Associated With Higher Liver-Related Mortality
“Areas with a longer distance to liver transplantation centers in the US feature higher liver-related mortality rates, according to new research. A team, led by Jason Yang, Department of Surgery, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and James Comprehensive Cancer Center, identified the impact of travel distance to liver transplantation programs and social vulnerability on county differences in liver-related mortality.”

Half a million dollars to provide needles and naloxone to Denver drug users
“(Denver, Colo.) The Denver City Council will consider awarding half a million dollars in contracts Monday to provide drug users with needles and naloxone through the end of this year. The expenditures are intended to help keep addicts alive. In 2022, someone died of a fentanyl overdose every 38 hours, according to statistics from the Denver Medical Examiner’s Office.”

Help eliminate viral hepatitis in Philadelphia 
“A college-level medical terminology course would teach you that the prefix “hepat-” means liver and the suffix “-itis” means inflammation. So, hepatitis means your liver is inflamed. While folks usually assume liver inflammation is caused by heavy alcohol use, toxins, and side effects from certain medications, it is important to know it is also caused by viral infections.”

“In a major breakthrough, researchers at the University of Florida have leveraged the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to develop a simplified test that can diagnose both hepatitis C and SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19. The test can be conducted in a single small test tube, taking just a few minutes to yield results.”

Prize for a cure: 4 years later, legislative push to end diseases loses steam
“A former Ohio lawmaker said the death of his parents from cancer sparked the idea for a commission that would award vast sums to anyone who could cure the world’s most pernicious diseases. But the effort has found few allies.”

HCV, HIV AND HBV rapid test diagnosis in non-clinical outreach settings can be as accurate as conventional laboratory tests
“Point of care rapid diagnostic tests (POC-RDT) for Hepatitis C virus (HCV), Human Immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and Hepatitis B virus (HBV), are ideal for screening in non-clinical outreach settings as they can provide immediate results and facilitate diagnosis, allowing high risk population screening.”

New York State Department of Health Recognizes Hepatitis Awareness Month
“ALBANY, N.Y. (May 10, 2023) – In recognition of Hepatitis Awareness Month, the New York State Department of Health outlined its progress on the New York State Hepatitis C Elimination Plan during the First Annual New York State Hepatitis C Elimination Progress Report.  The State has made significant strides in working to eliminate hepatitis C.”


Doctor recommends everyone get tested at least once for Hepatitis C

Brazos County Health District offers free Hepatitis C screenings in May

Kris Kowdley, MD: The Opioid Epidemic is Burdening Hepatitis C Elimination

My Choices News Update

How Exercise Can Boost Brain Health
“Growing evidence supports the idea that exercise is beneficial for both the body and mind. According to a new study published in the journal Neuroscience, the relationship between physical activity and brain health may be even more closely linked.”

Is Mindfulness a Trait, a Path, or a Process?
“Mindfulness is in the news again. Forbes is asking whether mindfulness makes us selfish. USA Today is encouraging us to start a mindful practice for health benefits. And Literary Hub is chronicling the failure of one seeker to integrate mindfulness into their life.”

Eating more fruits and vegetables may help reduce your risk of death from chronic kidney disease
“Individuals with chronic kidney disease (CKD) face a gradual loss of kidney function. More than 1 in 7 adultsTrusted Source in the United States have CKD, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Since there are often no symptoms in its early stages, CKD often goes undetected until the condition is advanced.”

Why is it so hard to lose weight?
“There is no “one size fits all” solution for weight loss. Regular physical activity and following a healthy, balanced diet almost always play a role. However, managing medical and mental health conditions can also affect a person’s weight.”

Apple is working on an AI health coach that will track your emotions
“Apple Inc. is working on an artificial intelligence-powered health coaching service and new technology for tracking emotions, its latest attempt to lock in users with health and wellness features. The new coaching service — codenamed Quartz — is designed to keep users motivated to exercise, improve eating habits and help them sleep better, according to people with knowledge of the project.”

10 popular diets scored for heart-healthy elements; some need improvement
“DALLAS, April 27, 2023 — Many popular dietary patterns score high for heart health; however, a few contradict the American Heart Association’s dietary guidance and did not rank as heart healthy, according to a new scientific statement published today in the Association’s flagship, peer-reviewed journal Circulation.”

A Team Approach to Improving Public Health
“A new study by researchers at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University and others shows how bringing together coalitions of individuals from government, public health, healthcare, public education, and other arenas to address a public health issue can result in better policies, systems, and environments for change.”

HHS Announces $2.5 Million for Produce Prescription Programs in Indian Country
“The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through the Indian Health Service agency, is announcing the availability of $2.5 million in funding to support the development of produce prescription programs in Native communities. Produce prescription programs help individuals and families who are experiencing food insecurity and/or diet‑related health problems more easily obtain fresh fruits and vegetables by receiving a prescription from a health care provider. Launching these programs in Native communities will support the Administration’s efforts to reduce food insecurity and improve their health outcomes among American Indian and Alaska Native people by increasing their access to fresh produce and other healthy traditional foods.”

Empowering Patients And Caregivers: A Solution To Healthcare’s Looming Crisis
“If you think it’s already hard to get the medical care you need – just wait. Experts are predicting doomsday. More people need care as our population skews older (the 65+ group was the fastest growing age group between 2010 and 2021, with its population increasing 38%).”

Neuroimaging identifies early life nutrient intake and brain maturation associations
“Myelination of axons is an indicator of brain structural maturation, and myelin imaging has become a viable means of monitoring brain development in early infant life.  The impact of nutrient intake on myelin development has been investigated previously, however, the work did not capture the longitudinal interactions between nutrients and myelin formation during infancy.  A study by Schneider and colleagues reported in the March 2023 issue of The Journal of Nutrition explores this relationship.”

Adding exercise into treatment may reduce substance use, study shows
“One key to fighting addiction may be exercise, according to a new study. Researchers undertook a review of the existing literature on physical activity and its relationship to substance use, and they found that regular exercise was associated with lowered use in about 75% of the studies investigating that question, according to the analysis.”

Could Long COVID Change Brain Activity?
“MONDAY, May 1, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Scientists report that brain scans of long COVID patients show abnormal activity in areas related to memory. The scan results validate the concerns of these patients, who feel like they’re experiencing fatigue, trouble concentrating and memory issues, even though their scores on thinking tests don’t show it.”


New research suggests that french fries may be linked to depression
“French fries — they’re greasy, starchy and a comfort food for many. But reaching for fried foods may have a negative impact on mental health. A research team in Hangzhou, China, found that frequent consumption of fried foods, especially fried potatoes, was linked with a 12% higher risk of anxiety and 7% higher risk of depression than in people who didn’t eat fried foods. The link was more pronounced among young men and younger consumers.”

Potentially dangerous doses of melatonin and CBD found in gummies sold for sleep
“Testing of over two dozen melatonin “gummies” sold as sleep aids found some had potentially dangerous amounts of the hormone that helps regulate sleep, according to a new study. “One product contained 347% more melatonin than what was actually listed on the label of the gummies,” said study coauthor Dr. Pieter Cohen, an associate professor of medicine at the Cambridge Health Alliance in Somerville, Massachusetts.”

Hepatitis C News Update

Expert sees silver lining to removal of federal funding for HIV testing in Tennessee
“HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. — HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) programs in Tennessee are set to lose more than half of their federal funding soon as cases of HIV continue to rise. Earlier this year, the state government rejected more than $8 million in federal funds to treat and prevent HIV cases across the state. That left several programs in desperate need of money. But since that decision, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has stepped in to help those programs.”

When a prison sentence becomes a death sentence
“After spending 38 years in the Alabama prison system, one of the most violent and crowded in the nation, Larry Jordan feels lucky to live long enough to regain his freedom. The decorated Vietnam War veteran had survived prostate cancer and hepatitis C behind bars when a judge granted him early release late last year.”

US cancer deaths are falling — but not fast enough
“Death rates for most of the deadliest cancers in the United States need to fall more quickly if ambitious goals set by the president are to be met, according to a study by the US National Cancer Institute (NCI).”

U.S. needs to address cancer health equity to reduce mortality by 50 pct in 25 years: study
“”Achieving a 50 percent reduction in cancer mortality in 25 years will be impossible without addressing cancer health equity,” said U.S. National Cancer Institute Director Monica M. Bertagnolli.”

WHO and IAPAC sign a memorandum of understanding focused on ending epidemics in cities
“WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Dr José M. Zuniga, President/CEO of the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC), have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that provides a framework for collaboration between the 2 institutions to advance mutual HIV and related health objectives.”

Experts: Needle exchange bill could address Hepatitis C, HIV outbreaks in Missouri
“Needle exchange programs — that provide intravenous drug users with clean needles to prevent spread of blood-borne infections like HIV or Hepatitis C — are currently illegal in Missouri, technically. Some already exist in St. Louis and Kansas City, but under current law would technically constitute “unlawful delivery of drug paraphernalia.” A Missouri House bill, which has come close to passing multiple times in the past few years, would decriminalize organizations that distribute clean needles, provided they enter a state-run registry.”

Hepatitis C Infections During Pregnancy Increased 20% From 2016 To 2020, According To A New CDC Report
“Between 2016 and 2020, there was a rise in hepatitis C infection rate among mothers giving birth. But, this heightened rate was followed by a decrease starting in 2020 and lasting through 2021.”

Government of Canada supports community-based projects addressing HIV, Hepatitis C, and other sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections
“QUEBEC, QC, April 28, 2023 /CNW/ – Today, during a visit to Projet L.U.N.E., the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, announced $18.1 million through the HIV and Hepatitis C Community Action Fund (CAF) and the Harm Reduction Fund (HRF) for 23 projects to support the work of community-based organizations addressing HIV, hepatitis C and other sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBI). STBBI are preventable, treatable and in many cases curable. However, these infections remain a significant public health concern in Canada and around the world.”

Weekly News Update.
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