2016 Triple E for HCV: Engagement, Education and Eradication of HCV among Patients with Substance Abuse Disorders

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Sunday, October 30, 2016
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

  • Stevan Gonsalez, MD, Baylor All Saints Medical Center, Fort Worth, TX
  • Daniel Fierer, MD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY
  • Lynn Taylor, MD, The Miriam Hospital, Providence, RI
  • Michael Ninburg, MPH, Hepatitis Education Project, Seattle, WA
  • Corinna Dan, RN, US Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a leading cause of chronic liver disease (CLD) with an estimated global prevalence of more than 150 million, with up to an estimated 3.2 million infected individuals in the United States. Currently, injection drug use is the leading risk factor for HCV acquisition. In fact, people who inject drugs (PWID) represent the majority of HCV disease burden in developed countries. HCV prevalence among PWID is as high as 80% depending on frequency and duration of use, while incidence ranges from 16-42% per year. Recent FDA-approved HCV treatments can cure >90% of patients without the need for interferon. Despite these facts, HCV treatment uptake amongst PWID participants has been low.

Unfortunately, a variety of factors contribute to the limited number of PWID entering HCV care and treatment. Such barriers exist at the patient, physician, and health system levels. Although there are different barriers that are specific to each group, in general these barriers are either 1) based on misperceptions or 2) have become “partially resolved” in the wake of advances in HCV management, healthcare reform including expanded Medicaid coverage for low-income patients, increased pharmaceutical access through public insurance and private indigent care support programs and federal and state government screening mandates. Addressing such barriers is the important first step toward formulating interventions to increase access to care.

The Triple E session will be built around a series of expert-led presentations with the integration of real-world cases serving to highlight and reinforce the recognition of, methods for diagnosing, and the management of HCV. These clinical cases will provide abundant opportunities for audience input, faculty presentation, panel discussion, and debate regarding the best treatment strategies for a given patient. This session emphasizes the need to ensure that PWID have access to viral hepatitis prevention, care, and treatment services; to develop and mobilize community resources that prevent viral hepatitis caused by injection drug use; and to advance research into the prevention of viral hepatitis among persons who use drugs.

Sponsored by the Chronic Liver Disease Foundation and an educational grant from AbbVie and Gilead