Five ideas to scale up hepatitis C services in Canada

Hepatitis C is curable. Today’s treatment regimens are highly effective and easy to complete. And it has the added benefit of preventing transmission to others, making it possible to eliminate hepatitis C from Canada. However, for many of the most marginalized people affected by hepatitis C in Canada, including people who use drugs, treatment remains frustratingly out of reach. Those who are most at risk are also the ones most often missed by healthcare services.

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“Connecting with Care” in Canada

In 2018, I had the opportunity to spend time in Iran profiling an innovative hepatitis C treatment project for people who use drugs. In partnership with Iranian and Australian researchers and local service providers, I interviewed a number of researchers, clinicians and patients to showcase their success at curing hepatitis C despite stigma and other barriers. As an Australian filmmaker, I have spent much of my working life telling stories of social change with communities throughout Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Yet stories from Canada and North America had remained the most unknown to me.

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Five ideas to improve drug user health in Canada

Hepatitis C prevention, testing and treatment exists within the larger context of drug user health. This broader approach to hepatitis C must address the intersections of harm reduction, overdose prevention, the social determinants of health, and human rights. How can we better integrate these multiple perspectives to our work? To find out, we sat down to hear ideas from the world’s leading voices in hepatitis C at the 8th International Conference on Hepatitis Care in Substance Users (INHSU 2019) in Montreal.

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Top HIV and hepatitis C stories of 2019

In 2019, we saw significant developments in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of HIV and hepatitis C. We helped launch a blueprint for hepatitis C elimination in Canada. We witnessed innovation in HIV prevention and testing approaches, more people cured of hepatitis C, and “the London patient”, the second person cleared of HIV after discontinuing antiretroviral therapy. We also saw drawbacks. We continue to confront a devastating opioid overdose crisis driven by a poisoned drug supply, which claimed the lives of more than 2,000 Canadians in the first six months of the year alone.

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INHSU 2019: Wholistic hepatitis C care, and the importance of care providers

Hundreds of clinicians, researchers and people with lived experience gathered in Montreal in September 2019 to highlight promising work in hepatitis C research and practice. The 8th International Conference on Hepatitis Care in Substance Users (INHSU 2019) showcased innovative models of care that support the delivery of hepatitis C treatment.

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Reaching the first 90: how HIV self-testing can help us end the HIV epidemic

Canada has signed on to the global 90-90-90 targets to end the HIV epidemic by 2030. The aim of these targets is to diagnose at least 90% of all people living with HIV, provide treatment for 90% of those diagnosed, and for 90% of people on treatment to have an undetectable viral load by 2020. However, Canada is falling short on the first 90, lagging behind other similar countries, such as the United Kingdom and Australia.

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