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Hepatitis C Vaccine Is Safe and Induces Immune Responses in Early Human Trial

A new hepatitis C vaccine demonstrated good safely and tolerability in a first-in-humans Phase 1 clinical trial, with only mild and transient side effects, according to a report in the November 5 edition of Science Translational Medicine. The vaccine, which mimics immune responses in people who naturally clear hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, led to increased production of T-cells targeting the virus. Phase 2 studies are now underway in Baltimore and San Francisco, with results expected in 2016.

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HCV Sexual Transmission: HIV Negative May Be at Risk, More Awareness and Testing Needed

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is known to be sexually transmitted among HIV positive men who have sex with men, but HIV negative men may be at risk as well, according to recent reports. Other recent studies have looked at awareness of HCV sexual transmission and screening practices, suggesting that improvement is needed in both areas.

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IAS 2013: Hepatitis C Reinfection Occurs Frequently Among Gay Men Living with HIV in London

There is a high incidence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) reinfection among gay men living with HIV in London, results of a study published in the online edition of AIDS show. The results were also presented at 7th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (IAS 2013) this week in Kuala Lumpur.

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July 28 Is World Hepatitis Day [VIDEO]

July 28 is World Hepatitis Day, an opportunity to raise awareness about viral hepatitis and its consequences. This year's theme -- "Think Again" -- emphasizes that while hepatitis B and C are major causes of death worldwide, viral hepatitis remains remarkably neglected. The World Health Organization (WHO) and others held a press briefing at the 20th International AIDS Conference last week in Melbourne to raise awareness.

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Antiretroviral PrEP Prevents HIV Transmission among Injection Drug Users

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) using daily oral tenofovir (Viread) reduced the risk of HIV acquisition among injection drug users in Thailand by half, according to findings from the Bangkok Tenofovir Study, published in the June 13, 2013, advance online edition of The Lancet. These findings led the CDC to recommend that PrEP be "considered as one of several prevention options for persons at very high risk for HIV acquisition" through injection drug use.alt

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Studies Shed Light on Hepatitis C Virus Sexual Transmission among Gay Men

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) transmission among HIV positive gay men has leveled off in Amsterdam -- one of the first cities with an outbreak of apparently sexually transmitted HCV infection -- and it continues to be rare among HIV negative men who have sex with men, according to recent studies. Other research looked at HCV sexual transmission among HIV positive and negative men in Switzerland, and at the association between HCV viral load in blood and semen.

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War on Drugs Is Major Driver of Global Hepatitis C Epidemic

The so-called "war on drugs" plays a major role is sustaining hepatitis C epidemics worldwide, including in hard-hit Russia and Eastern Europe, according to the latest report from the Global Commission on Drug Policy. Drug prohibition drives drug users underground and blocks harm reduction efforts such as needle exchange programs. "The war on drugs is a war on common sense," said Commissioner Ruth Dreifuss.alt

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EASL 2014: Researchers Look at Treatment as Prevention for Hepatitis C

Widespread hepatitis C treatment with effective new direct-acting antivirals could dramatically reduce hepatitis C virus (HCV) transmission, but making this work on a large scale will require efforts to scale up HCV screening and bring down drug costs, according to several presentations at the EASL International Liver Congress this month in London.

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Tattoos Are Associated with Hepatitis C Virus Infection in the Absence of Other Risk Factors

Individuals with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in New York City were about 5 times more likely to have a tattoo than people without HCV, even after traditional risk factors such as injection drug use were taken into account, researchers reported in the January 12, 2013, advance online edition of Hepatology.alt

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EASL 2014: Treatment as Prevention for Drug Users Could Slash HCV Prevalence

A combination of increased testing, improved linkage to care, and earlier treatment with interferon-free regimens has the potential to substantially reduce the incidence and prevalence of hepatitis C among people who inject drugs in France over the next 10 years, as well as reducing the burden of disease arising from cirrhosis over 40 years, according to a study presented at the 49th EASL International Liver Congress (EASL 2014) last week in London.

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Can Low Volume Syringes Help End HIV and HCV Transmission Among People Who Use Drugs?

Syringes that have a lower "dead space" volume retain less fluid that can harbor HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV), and switching to this type could help reduce viral transmission among injection drug users, according to an article in the January 2013 issue of International Journal of Drug Policy.

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AASLD 2013: HCV Levels in Semen May Correspond to Blood Viral Load

HIV positive men with higher hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA levels in their blood during acute infection were more likely to have HCV in their semen as well, which may raise the risk of sexual transmission, researchers reported last month at the 64thAASLD Liver Meeting in Washington, DC.

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Water and Filters Used for Drug Injection May Transmit Hepatitis C Virus

Water, containers, and material used to mix and filter heroin -- not just syringes -- can harbor hepatitis C virus (HCV) and contribute to transmission among injection drug users, according to a study published in the November 5, 2012, advance edition of the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

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Hepatitis C Virus Can Live on Surfaces for Up to 6 Weeks

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) in dried droplets of blood or plasma can remain infectious on uncovered surfaces at temperatures of 4° or 22° C (39° or 72° F) for up to 6 weeks, resulting in potential for transmission in healthcare settings or during injection drug preparation, researchers reported in the November 23, 2013, advance edition of the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

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HIV+ People Who Get Hepatitis C May Experience Rapid Liver Disease Progression

People with HIV, especially those with advanced immune suppression, who become coinfected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) may experience rapid progression to decompensated cirrhosis and liver-related death, Mt. Sinai researchers reported in the December 21, 2012, advance edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases.

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Injection Drug Users Who Know They Have Hepatitis C Practice "Sero-Sharing"

People who inject drugs who know they are hepatitis C virus (HCV) positive are more likely to share syringes and injection equipment with others who are also infected, and less likely to do so with people who are HCV negative or unknown -- the equivalent of sexual "serosorting," according to a report in the December 15, 2013, Journal of Infectious Diseases.

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Hepatitis C Sexual Transmission Is Rare among Monogamous Heterosexual Couples

Transmission of hepatitis C virus (HCV) between long-term, monogamous, heterosexual partners can potentially occur, but appears to be very uncommon, according to a study of 500 couples described in the November 23, 2012, advance online edition of Hepatology. Furthermore, the analysis failed to find a link between HCV transmission and any specific sexual activities.

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ICAAC 2013: Is HCV Infection Increasing Among HIV+ Gay Men in Japan?

The incidence of acute hepatitis C virus (HCV) coinfection has increased in recent years at the largest HIV clinic in Japan, with almost all cases occurring among men who have sex with men, according to a poster presented at the 53rd Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC 2013) this month in Denver. For those treated early with pegylated interferon plus ribavirin, the cure rate was high at 80%.

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HIV11: Sexually Transmitted HCV Rising among HIV+ Gay Men in Europe, but More Are Getting Treated

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection rates continue to rise among HIV positive people in Europe, with the highest incidence among injection drug users and men who have sex with men, researchers reported at the 11th International Congress on Drug Therapy in HIV Infection last month in Glasgow. Another study, however, found that HIV/HCV coinfected people are now more likely to receive hepatitis C treatment.

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Hepatitis C Epidemic Mostly Confined to HIV Positive Gay Men in London

HIV negative gay and bisexual men in London have a hepatitis C prevalence similar to that of the general population, confirming that outbreaks of sexually transmitted HCV among men who have sex with men are largely limited to those who are HIV positive, according to a report in the June 18, 2013, advance edition of HIV Medicine.

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U.S. Agencies Recommend Blunt Suture Needles to Reduce Risk of Viral Hepatitis and HIV

In late May, U.S. agencies concerned with worker health and safety issued a joint advisory recommending that healthcare personnel should use blunt-tip suture needles as an alternative to standard suture needles for stitching muscle and connective tissue, in order to decrease the risk of needle-stick injuries that could transmit blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV.alt

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