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Miriam researcher helps develop global hepatitis C recommendations for injection-drug users
Date:7/25/2013

(PROVIDENCE, R.I.) A Miriam Hospital researcher has joined forces with international colleagues to call for new strategies to better manage and improve assessment and treatment for hepatitis C (HCV) infection in individuals who inject drugs.

Lynn E. Taylor, M.D., an HIV specialist focusing on HIV and viral hepatitis coinfection at The Miriam Hospital, was the only American physician invited to join the expert international panel that issued these first-of-its-kind recommendations. They were published online yesterday by the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, just ahead of World Hepatitis Day on July 28.

The recommendations are part of a supplement entitled "Prevention and Management of Hepatitis C Virus Infection Among People Who Inject Drugs: Moving the Agenda Forward," developed in collaboration with the International Network on Hepatitis Care in Substance Users.

"In well-resourced parts of the world, most hepatitis C exists among people who currently inject drugs and those who have injected drugs in the past. However, treatment access and uptake among this population remains low even though we increasingly have effective treatments for hepatitis C, which is a curable disease," said Taylor.

"Research supporting our recommendations the first international set ever released for treating hepatitis C in people who inject drugs demonstrates that treatment can be successful when barriers to care are addressed within a supportive environment," she added. "In fact, the burden of liver disease worldwide could be dramatically reduced by increasing treatment for hepatitis C infection among people who inject drugs, by preventing forward transmission."

An estimated five million people in the U.S. have chronic HCV infection, a liver disease that may result in long-term health problems, including liver scarring, liver failure and liver cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approxima
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Contact: Jessica Collins Grimes
jgrimes2@lifespan.org
Lifespan
Source:Eurekalert

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