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Hepatitis C

AASLD 2015: Sofosbuvir/ Velpatasvir + GS-9857 for 8 Weeks Cures Most Genotype 1 or 3 Hepatitis C Patients

An 8-week triple combination of Gilead Sciences' sofosbuvir, velpatasvir, and GS-9857 showed a high sustained response rate in a Phase 2 study of difficult-to-treat hepatitis C patients including treatment-experienced people with HCV genotype 3 and liver cirrhosis, according to results presented at the 2015 AASLD Liver Meetingtaking place this week in San Francisco. A 6-week regimen appeared inadequate, however, and more than 8 weeks may be needed for people who previously used direct-acting antivirals.

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AASLD 2015: HCV Infection During Anal Sex May Happen without Blood, Study Finds

Hepatitis C virus is present in large enough quantities in the rectal fluid of men with HIV and hepatitis C coinfection to permit HCV transmission without the presence of blood, researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City reported Sunday at the AASLD Liver Meeting in San Francisco.

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Gilead Requests Approval of Sofosbuvir/Velpatasvir Coformulation for All Hepatitis C Genotypes

Gilead Sciences last week requested U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for a single-tablet regimen containing the hepatitis C virus (HCV) polymerase inhibitor sofosbuvir and the next-generation pangenotypic NS5A inhibitor velpatasvir, formerly known as GS-5816. Unlike the widely used sofosbuvir/ledipasvir (Harvoni), the new combination shows potent activity against HCV genotypes 1 through 6.

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AASLD 2015: Grazoprevir/ Elbasvir Shows High Cure Rate for People Who Inject Drugs

Merck's grazoprevir/elbasvir coformulation demonstrated an overall sustained response rate of 92% for injection drug users receiving opioid substitution therapy in the C-EDGE CO-STAR study, according to a presentation at the 2015 AASLD Liver Meeting taking place this week in San Francisco. Participants maintained good adherence and had a high cure rate even though many continued to use illicit drugs.

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IHRC 2015: Hepatitis C Treatment as Prevention Must Address Concerns of People Who Inject Drugs

While epidemiologists and public health experts are excited about the potential of new hepatitis C drugs to limit onward transmission of the virus among people who inject drugs, some strategies ignore profound barriers to drug users engaging with healthcare and their broader needs. For "treatment as prevention" to be ethical and acceptable to this people who inject drugs, enabling treatment and policy environments need to be created, according to reports at the 24th International Harm Reduction Conference last month in Kuala Lumpur.

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IDWeek 2015: HIV/HCV Coinfected People Achieve High Cure Rates with Grazoprevir/Elbasvir

A dual combination of Merck's grazoprevir and elbasvir taken for 12 or 16 weeks cured most HIV-positive people coinfected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes 1, 4, or 6, and was generally safe and well-tolerated, according to an integrated analysis of three trials presented at the recent IDWeek 2015 conference in San Diego.

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IHRC 2015: Community-based Drug Projects Provide an Alternative to Compulsory Detention in Asia

A series of pilot projects in China, Indonesia, and Cambodia are showing that non-coercive, community-based drug treatment projects are feasible and more effective than the current approach of many Asian countries, incarceration and compulsory treatment, according to findings presented at the 24th International Harm Reduction Conference last month in Kuala Lumpur and in a report launched at the conference.

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State Medicaid Programs Should Cover Hepatitis C Treatment, Federal Agency Says

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services last week issued a letter to state Medicaid programs stating that they are expected to cover new interferon-free antiviral therapies for hepatitis C without undue restrictions, as well as a letter to the pharmaceutical companies that make these drugs asking about purchasing arrangements to ensure wider access.

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IHRC 2015: Why Is Injecting Equipment Reused? Drug Users Do Their Own Research to Find Out

Even in the context of the relatively good access to harm reduction services in Australia, the principle reasons for people who inject drugs to reuse syringes relate to the convenience of services, the stigma of drug use, a fear of repercussions, and other contextual factors, according to a recent study. No participants reported sharing equipment as a choice -- if sterile equipment had been readily available at the time they needed it, they would have preferred to use it.

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