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Hepatitis C success for London

Thursday March 7th, 2019

Regular screening of HIV-infected patients has helped to reduce hepatitis C infections among this group by 70% in London, an international conference heard yesterday.

Doctors reported their success at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Seattle, Washington, USA.

But they warned that UK rules preventing the re-treatment of patients with direct acting antivirals could put the progress at risk.

The progress report comes from an analysis of 6,000 HIV positive men treated at three London centres over a five year period. These included St Mary's Hospital and the Royal Free Hospital.

This showed that the impact of regular screening and treatment, they said, and by last year the number of new cases of hepatitis C among HIV positive men was the lowest in ten years.

Professor Graham Cooke, from Imperial College, London, said: "The results from our study should give us great encouragement as we try to eliminate Hepatitis C.

"There is a risk that these gains might be reversed if we can't re-treat patients and we hope that soon this might be possible through NHS services."

HIV medicine consultant Dr Lucy Garvey added: "In order to eliminate hepatitis C as a major public health threat we need to reduce the number of people who become newly infected or reinfected with the virus.

"Our study has shown that greater access to new treatments, closer monitoring and screening can greatly reduce hepatitis C cases, which will lead to better outcomes for the most at risk patients."

Tags: Flu & Viruses | North America | Pharmaceuticals | UK News

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