I had the honour of attending the recent and first-ever World Hepatitis Summit in Glasgow, Scotland from September 2-4, 2015. What a treat it was to come together with hundreds of other people from around the globe to discuss the often ignored health issue of viral hepatitis. Here I was, “amongst my people,” talking like crazy about viral hepatitis as if it were important or something. How new and novel, because here in Canada viral hepatitis is the conversation we never have, despite the fact that at least 250,000 Canadians are affected by it.
By Adam Cook
Since 2004 many patient groups and advocacy organizations have observed a day of awareness for viral hepatitis, but it was not until the 63rd annual World Health Assembly in 2010 that the World Health Organization officially declared July 28 as the international day to raise awareness, World Hepatitis Day (WHD). WHD is observed by agencies across the world seeking to address the global epidemic of viral hepatitis that impacts 400 million people worldwide.
By Adam Cook
The development of treatment for the cure of hepatitis C (HCV) is moving at a dizzying pace. Indeed, the entire HCV story is one of an unusually fast trajectory, not only the speed of treatment development, but also the spread of the virus. While early cures were injection-based, difficult to tolerate, and boasting a mere 50% success rate after a year of treatment, there now exist cures that involve one pill, once a day, for a regimen that often doesn’t exceed twelve weeks. There are clinical trials being conducted presently to evaluate the efficacy of new treatments at eight and 10 weeks.1 Over 300,000 Canadians are infected with HCV, with many of them unaware of their status.