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Friday, March 10, 2017

News Recap

Seven Big Events in Six Days!

A whirlwind of activity in three far-flung cities for HepCBC: 2 events in Vancouver, 3 in Banff, and 2 in Prince George!!

March 1st – We had a busy info booth at Langara College’s Nursing Dept. Health Fair, one in which challenges of the current opioid epidemic were featured.

March 2nd – Our Vice President and Action Hepatitis Canada Steering Committee Representative, Delvin Grimstad, attended his first face-to-face AHC meeting in Banff, Alberta as well as the 6th Canadian Symposium on HCV. http://hepcbc.ca/2017/03/07/hcv-banff-report-del-grinstad-vice-president-hepcbc-representative-ahc/

Rosemary and Del

March 3rd – Delvin joined the two nurses on the Board, Rosemary Plummer (our President) and Susan Malloch (our Treasurer) in attending the 6th annual Hep C Symposium in Banff.

Sue and Del Grimstad

March 4th – 5th – Rosemary and Susan attended meetings of Canadian Assn. of Hepatology Nurses in Banff.

March 3rd – 5th – We had an info booth at the Vancouver Wellness Show once again! Thanks to volunteers: Alan Huang (also our Secretary), Kathy Wainwright, Nicole F., Satori S., Cheryl Reitz, Leon Anderson, and our Lower Mainland Coordinator of Volunteers, Anita York!

Anita at Vancouver Wellness Show

March 5th – we had an info booth at Wellness North EXPO in Prince George. Board Director Laurel Gloslee and former Director Cheryl Reitz had flown up the day before. THANKS to Positive Living North for covering our hotel expenses!!! It was a real honour to have dinner with Margaret Jackson, the EXPO organizer (and long-time Arthritis Foundation volunteer), following the event. She doubled the honour by attending our final event at Positive Living North the next day…

Laurel Gloslee & Cheryl Reitz
Orlando McLeish, HIV and Hep C Educator with Positive Living North in Prince George

March 6th – in Prince George, HepCBC partnered with the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) and Positive Living North to present the BCCDC’s new study comparing hepatitis C treatment and care in rural vs. urban areas of our province. http://hepcbc.ca/2017/03/08/march-6th-bccdc-presentation-prince-george-bc/

 

Other News:

Studies show hepatitis C test rates low despite effective new treatments
Note:  Although this study was done in the USA, the results hold true for Canada.  Why should people who feel stigmatized for having hepatitis C get tested only to be stared at down the nose by physicians who still put people with hep down, and also to find out that they can’t afford to get treated!! It’s a really lousy situation — CD

Despite a 2013 recommendation from the US Preventive Services Task force that all baby boomers be tested for hepatitis C virus (HCV), testing levels in the 2 years that followed the advice remained very low, researchers reported today.

And a Veterans Affairs (VA) analysis highlights more effective and well-tolerated treatment options.

People on Medicare, Medicaid, or military insurance had higher HCV testing rates compared with those with private insurance. Testing levels were greater in men and among college graduates.

“These findings underscore the need for increased awareness for HCV testing among healthcare providers and baby boomers and other innovative strategies such as state-mandated HCV testing,” the authors concluded.

Read more…http://hepcbc.ca/2017/03/09/studies-show-hepatitis-c-test-rates-low-despite-effective-new-treatments/

Persistent neuropsychiatric impairment in HCV patients despite clearance of the virus?!
This study from the Journal of Viral Hepatitis is very timely. We are hearing more and more from people who have been cured but are still suffering from brain fog

One of the most disabling symptoms of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is chronic fatigue. While this is accepted for HCV polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-positive patients, a relationship between HCV infection and chronic fatigue is questioned after successful virus eradication. As fatigue is a subjective criterion, we aimed to evaluate in addition mood alterations and cognitive function in HCV-exposed patients with only mild liver disease and to assess a) possible interrelationships between these factors and health-related quality of life and b) the impact of viremia and former interferon treatment.

The authors concluded: “HCV infection may cause long-standing cerebral dysfunction that significantly impairs HRQoL and may even persist after clearance of the virus.”

Read more… http://hepcbc.ca/2017/03/08/persistent-neuropsychiatric-impairment-hcv-patients-despite-clearance-virus/