Fellowship news

Throughout the year we will share the latest news in HIV, viral hepatitis, oncology/haematology, respiratory and invasive fungal disease, which will include updates from projects supported by the Gilead UK & Ireland Fellowship Programme and any key successes (eg posters, publications) arising from projects supported in previous years.


February 03 2015

“We can eliminate hepatitis C within our lifetime”, message from EU experts at Five Nations conference


European experts attending the inaugural Five Nations conference on HIV and Hepatitis have called for a global effort on eliminating hepatitis C. The Five Nations Conference on HIV and Hepatitis took place on 8–9 December 2014 in London and was an opportunity for Europe's leading hepatitis and HIV experts to share research and discuss priorities for research, treatment and care to meet the global challenge of viral hepatitis and liver disease in the context of HIV disease.

Among ten issues addressed in a landmark statement by clinicians from France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, together with their community partners, the European AIDS Treatment Group, is an appeal to governments, the pharmaceutical industry and the medical profession to co-operate in making the latest generation of effective antiviral treatments for hepatitis C affordable and accessible to all patients.

The group also calls on world leaders to use lessons learned from HIV and AIDS as a model for raising awareness of HCV, testing for infection, and building on the existing HIV treatment infrastructure to reduce the number of deaths from HCV-related end-stage liver disease and liver cancer. With new antiviral treatments for HCV working well, both for patients with and without HIV, European experts are also calling for people with HIV to receive these treatments as a priority.

Dr Ranjababu Kulasegaram, Chair of the British HIV Association Hepatitis Society Subcommittee, said: "On the 25th anniversary of the discovery of HCV, we have reached a turning point in our ability to treat the infection, with revolutionary new drugs that offer real hope of eradicating this pernicious, often hidden disease. Despite their effectiveness, however, these treatments will have little value for the majority of people with HCV, unless their costs are drastically reduced and they are made universally accessible.“

Dr Mark Nelson, Chair of the Five Nations conference programme, said: "We know preventing transmission of the infection is possible, through a range of measures including needle exchange and opiate substitution therapy programmes for people who inject drugs, and education campaigns to prevent sexual transmission, particularly among men who have sex with men. We strongly urge governments, the pharmaceutical industry, clinicians, community organisations and non-governmental organisations to work together to make global elimination of HCV a realistic target within our lifetime.“

To view the presentations and post-conference report please click here.

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