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Weekly news updates are currently posted on the Internet site and sent out via e-blast to provide up-to-date information on what has been covered in the news regarding hepatitis C in the previous week. Topics include all stories related to hepatitis C as well as personal stories and events.

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Hepatitis C News
Week Ending June 17, 2019

Patients Coinfected With HIV and HCV Affected by Hepatic Steatosis
“Nearly one-third of patients coinfected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) are affected by hepatic steatosis (HS), according to study results published in AIDS Patient Care and STDs.”

Sofosbuvir/velpatasvir for 12 weeks in hepatitis C virus-infected patients with end-stage renal disease undergoing dialysis
“In patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) undergoing dialysis, researchers tested the safety and effectiveness of sofosbuvir/velpatasvir. Open-label sofosbuvir/velpatasvir (400 mg/100 mg) once daily for 12 weeks was given to 59 patients with genotype 1-6 HCV infection with ESRD undergoing hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis in this phase 2, single-arm study. SVR12 was accomplished in 56 out of 59 patients in patients with ESRD undergoing dialysis; treatment with sofosbuvir/velpatasvir for 12 weeks was safe and effective. Headache, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting were the most common adverse events.”

Many Kansas Inmates Will Wait For Hepatitis C Treatment Despite Recent Legal Settlement
“Kansas can no longer put off care for Medicaid patients with hepatitis C because of a recent legal settlement. But hundreds of the state’s prison inmates not covered by that lawsuit will have to wait another year for the pricey treatment. That raises concerns about whether the delay constitutes cruel and unusual punishment under the U.S. Constitution, civil rights lawyers say, because inmates have the right to medical care.”

Direct-Acting Antivirals Don’t Increase Adverse Events in Hepatitis C Treatment
“In 2016, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received reports through their Adverse Events Reporting System of liver failure (500) and severe liver injury (1000) among patients who had been taking direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) for the past year as treatment for the hepatitis C virus (HCV). This created concerns about the safety of DAAs for treatment of HCV, although investigators noted that the data’s accuracy was limited by the nature of voluntary reporting, lack of detailed patient medical history, and possibility of misclassification, since many of these adverse events could be a result of HCV itself rather than DAA treatment.”

HepConnect begins conversation on how to end hepatitis C
“West Virginia was welcomed into a five-state program Wednesday that is aimed at eradicating Hepatitis C and the disease’s connection to the opioid epidemic. Gilead Sciences, maker of two Hepatitis C drugs, is working with the national organization, the Harm Reduction Coalition, to carry out the new program dubbed HepConnect. In doing so, the drug maker’s philanthropic arm is committing $11.2 million for the first year of a five-year program that will be shared among health care providers and related coalitions in Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia.”

More organs available for heart transplants from opioid epidemic
“There has been an increase in transplantation because of the opioid epidemic consistent with the increase rate of death from opioids,” Nader Moazami, MD, professor in the department of cardiothoracic surgery and surgical director of heart transplantation and mechanical circulatory support at NYU Langone Health, told Cardiology Today. “Hearts transplanted from these donors are suitable with comparable survival compared to other donors. Many more potentially suitable hearts are discarded, but our data suggest they should be used if selected appropriately, including hearts from donors with active hepatitis C.”

Impact Fund Grant Goes to Hartford Attorneys for Hep-C Battle
“Reached Tuesday, Impact Fund Deputy Director Teddy Basham-Witherington said the grant for the Connecticut lawsuit has been given in the spirit of combating discrimination against the poor and people of color. “Race and class bias is embedded in our criminal justice system, and when you combine that with a refusal to treat an already deadly virus, populations that are disproportionately incarcerated are effectively given a death sentence,” he said. “What this lawsuit does is seek to address that injustice.” Impact Fund grants are paid back in the event of victory at trial, but reimbursement is not required in the event of a loss.”

Breast Milk Donation is Growing Across U.S. But It’s Not All Safe, Doctors Warn
‘In 2017 the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a recommendation that at-risk, premature babies be fed donated, pasteurized breastmilk, if their mothers are not able to breastfeed. This milk comes from milk banks that are certified by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America, where donors are tested for contagious diseases. But another, informal system of milk sharing could be putting some babies at risk.”