‘On March 26, 2015, Indiana Governor Mike Pence issued an executive order declaring a public health emergency in several counties across Indiana due to a rapidly escalating outbreak of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
In just a few short years, there has been a large increase in the number of young people abusing opiates. This increase in injection-drug use and the high rate of HIV and HCV transmission through drug injection means that needles are in short supply, and injection-drug users are turning to sharing needles.
Indiana is one of 25 states in the U.S. where it’s illegal to purchase syringes without a prescription and where state law does not authorize needle-exchange programs. Thus why Governor Pence declared a state of emergency, which enabled him to temporarily suspend the law and introduce a temporary needle-exchange program.
However, this needle-exchange program deters many people from participating because it requires that injection-drug users register with their initials and date of birth and unregistered injection-drug users are subject to prosecution for carrying syringes. (Using needles for non-medical purposes is a felony punishable by up to 3 years in prison.)
In order to prevent further HIV outbreaks among substance users, aggressive implementation of evidence-based practices for HIV prevention must be put in place. Permanently lifting the ban on using federal funds to support needle-exchange programs will be a critical component of HIV prevention, since these programs reduce HIV incidence. The federal funding ban limits these programs scalability and quality of services, including their ability to provide on-site HIV and HCV testing and referrals for drug treatment.’
Synopsis of Threading the Needle — How to Stop the HIV Outbreak in Rural Indiana by Steffanie A. Strathdee, Ph.D., and Chris Beyrer, M.D., M.P.H.
FREE Hepatitis C testing across Colorado in honor of National Hepatitis Testing Day!
More than 4 million Americans have been infected with Hepatitis C. More than 75% were born between 1945 and 1965. Half don’t realize they were exposed because they haven’t been tested.
Help us change that – if you’ve never been tested for Hepatitis C before, take charge of your health on National Hepatitis Testing Day! Testing will be available at 15 locations around Colorado on Tuesday, May 19th, 2015. No appointments required. Just walk in, get tested with a quick fingerstick, and get your results in 20 minutes!
Hep C Connection and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment are teaming up with nine other organizations to offer this free service, including Colorado’s regional AIDS service organizations and local county health departments.
Want to locate a testing site near you for May 19th? Refer to the chart below:
|City||Location / Testing Organization||Address||Timeframe|
|Boulder||Boulder County AIDS Project||2118 14th St||10AM – 5PM|
|Boulder||Boulder County Public Health||3482 Broadway||8AM – 4PM|
|Denver||Webb Municipal Building / Hep C Connection||201 W Colfax Ave||9AM – 3PM|
|Denver||Scales’ Pharmacy / Hey Denver||1999 Pennsylvania St||3PM – 8PM|
|Denver||Avella Specialty Pharmacy / Denver Colorado AIDS Project||1245 E Colfax Ave, Suite 102||10AM – 3PM|
|Denver||Tri-County Health Department North Broadway Office||7000 N Broadway,
|9AM – 12PM|
|Fort Collins||Sister Mary Alice Murphy Center for Hope / Northern Colorado AIDS Project||242 Conifer St||8:30AM – 11:30AM|
|Grand Junction||Grand Valley Catholic Outreach / Western Colorado AIDS Project||245 S 1st St||8AM – 11AM|
|Grand Junction||Western Colorado AIDS Project||805 Main St||11AM – 5PM|
|Longmont||Boulder County Public Health||529 Coffman St, #200||8:30 AM – 4:30 PM|
|Northglenn||Tri-County Health Department Northglenn Office||10190 Bannock St, Suite 100||3PM – 5:30 PM|
|Pueblo||Senior Resource Development Authority / Hep C Connection & Southern Colorado AIDS Project||230 N Union Ave||1PM – 5PM|
|Pueblo||Pueblo City-County Health Department||101 W 9th St||1PM – 4PM|
Testing will also be offered at the Aurora Central Library (14949 E Alameda Parkway) on the previous day (May 18th) by Tri-County Health Department from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM.
Evidence of sexual acquisition of hepatitis C virus (HCV) among men who have sex with men (MSM) receiving pre-exposure prophylaxis through a San Francisco clinic has prompted a call for routine monitoring for the virus among PrEP users. In a letter to the editor in Clinical Infectious Diseases, clinicians from Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center describe new cases of hep C among two men out of 485 HIV-negative MSM receiving PrEP at the clinic between February 2011 and December 2014.
Becoming part of this growing movement is simple: take a photo of yourself, forming a C with your hand and share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #selfieHepatiteC. Over 2.5 million #selfieHepatiteC photos have already been posted to help fight stigma and encourage people to get tested. From patients and their families to the general public and celebrities, the movement that started in Brazil now needs your support to become a global campaign!
Working on the streets in medically underserved Philadelphia neighborhoods, members of the Do One Thing program have been able to identify residents chronically infected with hepatitis C and help them overcome the hurdles that prevent people from being cured, according to a new study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. Read on….
This post was shared from Caring Ambassadors, Inc.
(reposted from AIDSmeds.com)
Pregnant women with hepatitis C virus (HCV) have an estimated 5.8 percent risk of transmitting the virus to their unborn child, a risk that more than doubles if they are coinfected with HIV. Publishing their findings in Clinical Infectious Diseases, researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 109 studies to make their estimates about the risk of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT).
The mother’s 5.8 percent chance of transmitting the virus to her baby rises to 10.8 percent if she is HIV-positive. HIV itself raises the risk 2.56-fold, more so than any other determinant of risk.
The scientists stated that more research is needed into other ways that children who are at risk of MTCT may be put at risk for contracting hep C during early childhood.
To read the study, click here.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have just released the next phase of the national Know More Hepatitis campaign. Of the estimated 3.2 million Americans who have Hepatitis C, 3 in 4 are people born from 1945 to 1965. Since as many as 50% of people with Hepatitis C don’t know they are infected, the campaign encourages everyone born from 1945-1965 to get tested for the virus.
The campaign is being implemeneted using a variety of multimedia channels: print, radio, and TV PSAs, as well as airport dioramas, billboards, and transit advertisements. CDC also developed materials to support educational efforts at the local level, including posters, fact sheets, infographics, and more.
You can view the new Know More Hepatitis PSA on YouTube and an infographic from the campaign below.
Mesa County is a region in Colorado that is adversely affected by hepatitis C. Western Colorado AIDS Project reports that, of the many state-funded HCV testing sites, theirs exhibits an extremely high positivity rate for the virus. While the advent of new and better treatments for hepatitis C has demonstrated cure rates in the 90th percentile, many individuals without health insurance or on Medicaid still don’t qualify based on criteria that looks at history of illicit drug use and disease progression as primary factors.
For the full story and a video report on Mesa County and Western Colorado AIDS Project’s work in the communities there, click here.