Welcome to HCV Advocate’s hepatitis blog. The intent of this blog is to keep our website audience up-to-date on information about hepatitis and to answer some of our web site and training audience questions. People are encouraged to submit questions and post comments.

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Alan Franciscus
Editor-in-Chief
HCV Advocate
HBV Advocate

Drugs in Development / Clinical Trials—Updated August 19, 2014

Friday, August 22, 2014

Study shows variations in distribution of hepatitis C inside Egypt

A new study by researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q) shows that there is a large geographic variation in the distribution of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) in Egypt.

Egypt has the highest infection level of the disease in the world, with 14.7% of the population carrying HCV, but it is still not clear why this is so.

Treatment campaigns for bilharzia – a disease caused by parasitic worms - during the 1960s and 1970s, using parenteral antischistosomal therapy (PAT), contributed to the epidemic through wide-scale sharing of needles and syringes. However, these campaigns can explain only about 10% of HCV infections in the country. It is probable that most HCV infections in Egypt are linked to exposures in medical care settings.

Read more...

Interviews with Lucinda K. Porter and Alan Franciscus today on "Listen Live" on WBEZ 91.5 Chicago

Listen to excerpts from interviews with Lucinda K. Porter and Alan Franciscus about their personal struggles with hepatitis C and their advocacy efforts on Listen Live on WBEZ 91.5 Chicago Friday, August 22, 2014 at 4:44 PM and 6:20PM Central Daylight Time. 

Australia: PBAC decisions – a mixed bag for Australians living with Hepatitis C

Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) will subsidise Olysio but not Sovaldi

simeprevir (Olysio)
Hepatitis Australia today welcomed the recommendation to add simeprevir (Olysio) to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for the treatment of genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C.

sofosbuvir (Sovaldi)
Responding to the PBAC decision to reject an application to subsidise the antiviral medication sofosbuvir (Sovaldi), Ms Tyrrell said “it’s a sad day when access to game-changing therapy is denied. This is a bad outcome for people living with hepatitis C”. 

Read more - Download now. (PDF 245.43kb)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Update: Tulsa dentist accused of unsanitary practices to give up his license

A Tulsa oral surgeon found to have possibly exposed up to 5,000 patients to HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C may be permanently barred from practicing as of Friday.

An agenda item for the regular meeting of the Oklahoma State Board of Dentistry states “discussion and possible action to accept permanent surrender of license and agreed order” in the case against Dr. W. Scott Harrington. The meeting is at 9 a.m. Friday in Oklahoma City.


In September last year, genetic testing confirmed that at least one patient contracted hepatitis C from a visit to Harrington’s office. It was the first documented report of patient-to-patient transmission of hepatitis C in a dental setting in the United States.

Read more... 

Update - August 22, 2014: Scott Harrington permanently surrendered his professional license on Friday

New Lease on Life: Mike Gimbel

There’s a cure for Hepatitis C, but it comes with a cost

Not many people who battle drug addiction and Hepatitis C live to tell about it. Yet, 62-year-old Baltimorean and former county drug czar Mike Gimbel fought and conquered both.

Gimbel, a former heroin addict, spent his teenage years leading a double life. By day, he was a typical Jewish boy from Pikesville. By night, he was scouring the streets of Baltimore for drugs. Nearly bankrupting his family, Gimbel spent about $250 a day to satisfy his drug habit.

“I had no idea what long-term damage I was doing to my body,” he said. “To be honest, I’m lucky I made it to 20.”

Read more....

OraSure to educate trucking industry on hepatitis dangers

OraSure Technologies Inc. of Bethlehem is kicking off a campaign with partner AbbVie pharmaceutical and the Healthy Trucking Association of America to launch a Hepatitis C awareness campaign in the trucking industry called Truckers Rolling Against Hepatitis C.

They will be launching the campaign at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas on Thursday, and will be continuing with events across the nation over the next several months.

According to Ron Ticho, senior vice president of corporate communications at OraSure, professional truckers have more than five times the risk of contracting Hepatitis C than the rest of the population. He said the age demographic and lifestyle of the professional trucking population puts it higher at risk.

Read more...

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

UK: Students put at risk of HIV and hepatitis from botched blood tests and vaccinations sue their former university

Dozens of students are suing a university after being put at risk of contracting HIV and hepatitis when syringe components were wrongly reused during blood tests and vaccinations for eight years.

The University of Derby contacted 629 former and current students in April after an investigation revealed potential 'errors' with vaccinations and blood tests carried out by a healthcare worker.

It is understood the worker incorrectly reused syringe barrels - putting students at risk of viruses such as HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C - between September 2005 and October 2013, although the needle was always changed between patients.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2729993/Students-risk-HIV-hepatitis-botched-blood-tests-vaccinations-sue-former-university.html#ixzz3AxJd6yCd