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New EASL guidelines prioritise interferon-free hepatitis C treatment
by Liz Highleyman, 2015-04-27 12:20
The European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) released its latest hepatitis C treatment guidelines at the 50th International Liver Congress which took place last week in Vienna. The guidelines recommend a variety of interferon-free direct-acting antiviral (DAA) regimens for people with hepatitis C virus genotypes 1-6. The panel offered recommendations for patient

Alcohol misuse the strongest predictor of severe liver damage and death in French people with hepatitis C
by Keith Alcorn, 2015-04-27 12:00
People with hepatitis C have a much greater risk of liver-related hospitalisation or death if they have an alcohol use disorder or another serious comorbidity such as HIV infection, chronic kidney disease or cancer, according to an analysis of everyone hospitalised in France between 2008 and 2012. In the absence of these problems, people

Expanded vaccination and treatment could help eliminate hepatitis B worldwide
by Liz Highleyman, 2015-04-25 20:30
While universal infant hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccination has already led to major advances in reducing new infections in some settings, further expansion of prevention and treatment are needed to significantly reduce HBV transmission and liver disease mortality, according to an analysis presented at the EASL 50th International Liver Congress this week in Vienna. Many countries

Grazoprevir/elbasvir highly effective in treatment-experienced and HIV-coinfected hepatitis C patients
by Keith Alcorn, 2015-04-25 20:20
The combination of grazoprevir and elbasvir without ribavirin is highly effective in curing hepatitis C infection in 12 weeks in some groups of treatment-experienced patients and in HIV coinfected people, and a 16-week course of treatment with ribavirin was highly effective even in the hardest-to-treat groups of treatment-experienced patients, two studies presented this week at

Grazoprevir/elbasvir highly effective in treatment-experienced a nd HIV-coinfected hepatitis C patients
by Keith Alcorn, 2015-04-25 20:20
The combination of grazoprevir and elbasvir without ribavirin is highly effective in curing hepatitis C infection in 12 weeks in some groups of treatment-experienced patients and in HIV coinfected people, and a 16-week course of treatment with ribavirin was highly effective even in the hardest-to-treat groups of treatment-experienced patients, two studies presented this week at

Advanced liver damage is common in people with undiagnosed hepatitis C in US survey
by Keith Alcorn, 2015-04-25 20:20
  Around one in five of people with hepatitis C in the United States who do not know of their infection may already have advanced liver damage and be in urgent need of treatment, according to a cross-sectional survey of participants in the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES) presented by Prowpanga Udompap at

First HIV home test approved for sale in UK
by Roger Pebody, 2015-04-24 18:00
The BioSure HIV Self Test, designed to be used by untrained users at home was granted a CE mark yesterday, making it the first HIV home test which can be legally sold in the United Kingdom. The test is simple to perform and tests for the presence of HIV antibodies in a

Many people living with HIV willing to take part in cure research, despite its risks
by Roger Pebody, 2015-04-24 15:50
There is a strong interest among people living with HIV in studies towards an HIV cure, with many potential participants willing to consider antiretroviral treatment interruption. Respondents to a survey presented at the British HIV Association conference in Brighton this week generally understood that they would be unlikely to benefit personally from cure research. Priorities

Grazoprevir / elbasvir highly effective in previously untreated hepatitis C
by Keith Alcorn, 2015-04-24 13:40
A 12-week course of the combination of grazoprevir and elbasvir cured 95% of previously untreated people with gentoypes 1, 4 or 6 hepatitis C infection, according to results of the C-EDGE trial, presented on Friday at the International Liver Congress in Vienna However the study also showed that people with higher baseline HCV viral load

Men taking HIV treatment have undetectable viral loads in the rectum; sexually transmitted infections make no difference
by Roger Pebody, 2015-04-24 08:30
A small study assessing the infectiousness of HIV-positive gay men taking antiretroviral therapy has found that all study participants had an undetectable viral load in the rectum. Men who had rectal gonhorrea or chlamydia didn’t have detectable virus either, suggesting that concerns about sexually transmitted infections raising the risk of HIV transmission may be unfounded

Sofosbuvir/ledipasvir plus ribavirin shows high cure rate for hepatitis C patients with advanced liver disease
by Liz Highleyman, 2015-04-24 08:10
An oral regimen of sofosbuvir/ledipasvir (Harvoni) and ribavirin taken for 12 or 24 weeks produced sustained virological response rates of 85-88% for genotype 1 or 4 hepatitis C patients with decompensated cirrhosis and 95-98% for liver transplant recipients with less advanced liver damage, according to results from the SOLAR-2 study presented yesterday at the

Merck HCV combination effective after failure of first generation of direct-acting antivirals
by Keith Alcorn, 2015-04-23 22:50
A 12-week course of treatment with two direct-acting antivirals in development by Merck  plus ribavirin cured 95% of people with hepatitis C who had experienced failure of a previous HCV combination containing a protease inhibitor, Dr Xavier Forns of the Hospital Clinic, University of Barcelona, told the International Liver Congress in Vienna on Thursday Merck’s combination

Merck HCV combination achieves 90% cure in advanced cirrhosis
by Keith Alcorn, 2015-04-23 22:50
A 12-week course of treatment with two direct-acting antivirals in development by Merck cured hepatitis C infection in 90% of people with very advanced cirrhosis and at imminent risk of liver failure, Dr Ira Jacobson of Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, reported at the International Liver Congress in Vienna on Thursday. The preliminary phase

Treatment outcomes no better with single tablet regimens than individual tablets
by Roger Pebody, 2015-04-23 19:10
One pill a day HIV treatments such as Atripla, Stribild and Eviplera have the same rates of virological failure, drug resistance and side-effects as multiple tablet regimens, according to a meta-analysis presented to the British HIV Association conference in Brighton today. Single tablets cost the NHS five times more but have unproven clinical benefits, Andrew

HCV viral load levels during treatment and speed of decline do not predict cure with interferon-free therapy
by Liz Highleyman, 2015-04-23 08:50
Direct-acting antiviral regimens containing sofosbuvir (Sovaldi) and the drugs in Viekirax/Exviera were highly effective regardless of how soon hepatitis C viral load became undetectable after starting treatment, according to research presented at the recent Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2015). Furthermore, even having low-level detectable HCV RNA at the end of treatment does not

Daily PrEP leads to better adherence and protective drug levels in women
by Liz Highleyman, 2015-04-22 08:20
HIV-negative African women assigned to take once-daily Truvada for HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) achieved better adherence than those assigned to take PrEP twice weekly or before and after sex, according to findings from the HPTN 076 trial presented at the recent Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2015) in Seattle. Truvada (tenofovir/emtricitabine) PrEP has been shown to dramatically reduce