30 January 2014 - Montreal study shows testing positive for hepatitis C linked to decreased injection drug use : People who inject drugs and who test positive for hepatitis C were more likely to decrease their drug use than people who tested negative, reported researchers in Clinical Infectious Diseases. From 2004 to 2011, the University of Montreal researchers followed over 200 people who inject drugs. All participants did not have Hep C at the start of the study. Approximately one-third of the participants became Hep C positive during the study. Both the Hep C negative and Hep C positive participants decreased needle borrowing and lending after they received their diagnosis with a greater decrease among those who contracted Hep C. The Hep C positive participants also decreased their injection drug use by 10% with each three-month period of follow up after diagnosis. According to the researchers, this study “underscores the need for regular and individualized Hep C screening and counseling for all people who inject drugs with linkage to Hep C treatment and opiate substitution therapy when appropriate.” (Healio.com, December 2013, in English)
30 January 2014 - Montreal to get four safe injection sites : Montreal will soon be home to four supervised injection sites for people who inject drug. There will be three permanent centres and a fourth mobile centre that will reach people in other areas where injection drug use is common. A safe injection site is a facility where people who inject drugs can come and get new injection drug use supplies and inject drugs on the premises. There are nurses and support workers available to prevent overdoses and to connect people to other services, such as detox. A similar centre, called InSite, exists in Vancouver, B.C. According to Richard Massé, the director of Montreal Public Health “the social gains will surpass the cost if people consider the complications associated with injection drug use — hepatitis C, HIV and overdoses, among others — and the risk of contamination associated with dirty needles left lying around.” (cbc.ca, December 2013, in English)
12 December 2013 - Simeprevir (Galexos) approved by Health Canada, more steps before it’s added to provincial or territorial formularies : Health Canada has approved the Hep C direct acting anti-viral medication simeprevir (Galexos) for use in combination with peg-interferon and ribavirin to treat people with genotype 1 virus infection. In the U.S., the brand name for simeprevir is Olysio. Before it is available on provincial and territorial formularies, simeprevir will go through the Common Drug Review (CDR) process. The CDR assesses a medication for clinical and cost-effectiveness and makes recommendations about whether provinces and territories (with the exception of Quebec) should add it to their formularies. Formularies are lists of drugs approved for coverage under provincial or territorial drug programs. Provinces and territories make the final decision about the inclusion of simeprevir in their formularies.
25 July 2012 - Many Canadians can now be cured of hepatitis C but more trained nurses and doctors are needed : World Hepatitis Day 2012 marks a year of achievements and opportunities in Hep C managementTORONTO, July 23, 2012 /CNW/ - On the eve of World Hepatitis Day (July 28), the Canadian Association of Hepatology Nurses (CAHN) takes stock of the strides made in the management of hepatitis C over the last year as well as the current and future challenges that treaters face."Today, we are able to cure most of the people we treat with chronic hepatitis C genotype 1 infection," said Cheryl Dale, Hepatology Nurse Practitioner and President of CAHN. "What we need now is to add resources to increase treatment capacity so more Canadians diagnosed with hepatitis C can be treated and cured. There are not enough doctors and nurses in Canada with the specialized training and knowledge to treat and manage hepatitis C."
24 July 2012 - CATIE-News - Canadian HCV management guidelines released : About 1% of Canadians have hepatitis C virus (HCV). This germ damages the liver, and eventually, the overall health of HCV-positive people deteriorates as life-threatening complications, including liver cancer, can develop. Awareness of HCV itself, as well as the consequences of this infection and the effectiveness of treatment, needs to increase. New treatments for HCV infection have recently been licensed by Health Canada and this will increase cure rates. Moreover, research on the treatment of HCV has accelerated and many experimental therapies are now being tested. To help physicians and nurses cope with the new data that have emerged in the past several years, the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver (CASL) held a consensus conference in Toronto in late 2011. CASL subsequently produced guidelines for the care and treatment of HCV in Canada, which were published in the June 2012 issue of the Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology. The guidelines are a major step forward and will help healthcare providers deal with the complexity of care. The guidelines are rich in details and contain 48 recommendations that cover many important areas in HCV care. In this CATIE News bulletin, we summarize selected portions of the guidelines.
25 May 2012 - CATIE-News: High rates of hospitalization among HIV-positive people in Winnipeg : A team of researchers in Winnipeg has been collecting and analysing health-related information on the need for hospitalization among HIV-positive people in that city. Their findings are important not only because they underscore the multiple and complex medical needs among some HIV-positive people in Winnipeg, but also because they document a huge burden of poor health in this population that should not be occurring. Researchers found that 46% of participants were co-infected with hepatitis C virus. Another common pre-existing issue was addiction to substances, including alcohol.
15 May 2012 - CATIE Job Posting: Researcher/Writer, Hepatitis C : CATIE is currently looking to immediately fill the following fulltime position of Researcher/Writer, Hepatitis C. The Researcher/Writer, Hepatitis C is responsible for reviewing and analyzing research to act as a key resource within CATIE for current hepatitis C and harm reduction content; for supporting the development of hepatitis C and harm reduction knowledge resources and tools; for coordinating the research, development, review, revision, updating and uploading of content for the hepatitis C web site; and for overseeing inventory of HCV/harm reduction print resources.
26 March 2012 - Boceprevir (Victrelis) Now Available for Eligible Patients in British Columbia : People in British Columbia living with chronic hepatitis C may be eligible for publicly funded access to a new treatment option, as British Columbia becomes the third province to reimburse boceprevir (Victrelis). Boceprevir is an oral medication for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C genotype 1. It is to be used in combination with peginterferon alpha and ribavirin in adult patients (18 years and older) with compensated liver disease, including cirrhosis, who are previously untreated or who did not clear the virus with previous therapy. Currently, boceprevir is not approved for people co-infected with HIV. Eligibility criteria for boceprevir can be accessed through the following link: http://www.health.gov.bc.ca/pharmacare/sa/criteria/restricted/boceprevir.html
20 March 2012 - Hepatitis C in Canada: 2005-2010 Surveillance Report : The Public Health Agency of Canada has released its Hepatitis C in Canada: 2005-2010 Surveillance Report, which is the first comprehensive, national report on hepatitis C that summarizes the current data on hepatitis C infection and risk factors in Canada. Although reported cases of hepatitis C virus have declined in Canada in recent years, the health care burden presented by existing cases that progress to more serious sequelae continues to escalate.
19 March 2012 - Hepatitis C in baby boomers remains silent epidemic : A rise in deaths among baby boomers unknowingly infected with hepatitis C in the U.S. is driving a Canadian emphasis on detecting and treating the liver disease. Dr. David Wong, director of the liver clinic at Toronto Western Hospital, has seen increasing numbers of people with hepatitis C infection. "They're now trying to say if you're born between 1945 and 1965 — that is a baby boomer — you actually have a reasonable chance of having hepatitis C in North America," said Wong. "All of those people should routinely get Hep C testing at least once."
22 February 2012 - Victrelis (Boceprevir) Now Available for Eligible Patients in Quebec (only available in French) : People in Quebec living with chronic hepatitis C now have publicly funded access to a new treatment option, as Quebec becomes the second province to reimburse VICTRELIS™ (boceprevir). Boceprevir is an oral medication for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C genotype 1. It is to be used in combination with peginterferon alpha and ribavirin in adult patients (18 years and older) with compensated liver disease, including cirrhosis, who are previously untreated or who did not clear the virus with previous therapy. Currently, boceprevir is not approved for people co-infected with HIV. Eligibility criteria for boceprevir can be accessed through the following link (in French only): http://www.ramq.gouv.qc.ca/fr/professionnels/medicaments/listmed/pdf/mod...
8 February 2012 - Multidisciplinary care boosts Hep C treatment success among people with alcohol-dependency : People who drink—even heavily—can successfully undergo treatment for hepatitis C virus (HCV) if they are provided with individualized, multidisciplinary care that also addresses their alcohol use, according to a study published in the February 2012 issue of Journal of Hepatology.
16 January 2012 - CATIE-News: France: Is more frequent monitoring for liver cancer among co-infected people needed? : One complication of infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) or hepatitis B virus (HBV) is liver cancer, and researchers in France continue to study this cancer both in people with either HBV or HCV or HIV co-infection. Their most recent study results suggest that liver cancer occurs earlier and is more extensive in some co-infected people who are at high risk for liver cancer. If the French findings are confirmed, increased medical monitoring of co-infected people at high risk for liver cancer may be necessary.
4 January 2012 - Free crack pipes distributed to curb disease : Free crack pipes are being handed out in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside as part of a Vancouver Coastal Health harm-reduction project aimed to stop the spread of HIV and hepatitis B and C. The kits are part of a $60,000 eight-month trial project and include filters, mouthpieces, alcohol, swabs, push sticks and screens. For every pipe that is distributed there's an interaction about what the least harmful way of doing your drugs is - it's not just doling out the supplies, it's about having those interactions with people.
23 December 2011 - CATIE-News: Study stimulates researchers to call for intensified HIV and HBV prevention and treatment efforts : In Canada and other high-income countries, co-infection with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) is relatively common among some HIV-positive people, particularly gay and bisexual men and people who share equipment for injecting substances. Unprotected sex and exposure to unsterilized needles are the two most common routes of transmission. Researchers with the U.S. military have been collecting health-related information on thousands of military personnel who are HIV positive and some of whom were also co-infected with HBV. In a recent analysis of their data set, researchers found that HBV co-infection had a significant impact—nearly doubling the risk of having severe infections or dying—compared to people with HIV infection alone. The results of this analysis underscore the dangers that HBV poses and have stimulated researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to call for accelerated efforts to prevent and treat both HIV and HBV.
7 December 2011 - Ottawa’s crack pipe exchange is working, study finds : Ottawa's crack pipe exchange program is reducing sharing of the drug paraphernalia in the city, which should help reduce the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C, according to a study released on World AIDS Day 2011. The findings also show that many people are still sharing pipes, which suggests more education is needed. "This is why it's very important for us to take any new measure we can to prevent any new HIV or Hep C," says researcher Dr. Lynne Leonard. The study found that while more crack users are using new pipes, they are increasingly feeling uncomfortable carrying them and most attribute this feeling to a fear of police.
25 November 2011 - Hepatitis C transmission via injection drug use: look beyond needles and syringes : Insights into the continued spread of hepatitis C among people who inject drugs are provided by two studies published in the online edition of the Journal of Infectious Diseases. One study highlights swabs as a source of hepatitis C virus (HCV) transmission among people who inject drugs. Another study showed that the hepatitis C virus could survive on surfaces for up to seven days.
25 November 2011 - Victrelis (Boceprevir) Now Available for Eligible Patients in Ontario
Ontarians living with chronic hepatitis C now have publicly funded access to a new treatment option, as Ontario becomes the first province to reimburse VICTRELIS™ (boceprevir).Boceprevir is an oral medication for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C genotype 1. It is to be used in combination with peginterferon alpha and ribavirin in adult patients (18 years and older) with compensated liver disease, including cirrhosis, who are previously untreated or who did not clear the virus with previous therapy. Currently, boceprevir is not approved for people co-infected with HIV.Eligibility criteria for boceprevir can be accessed through the following link:
4 November 2011 - CATIE Job Posting: Administrator, Hepatitis C Ethnocultural Outreach & Social Marketing Project : The Administrator is reponsible for working in collaboration with the Coordinator, Hepatitis C Ethnocultural Outreach & Social Marketing Project, to assist with the execution of community consultations that engage immigrants from China, India, Pakistan and the Philippines across Ontario.
28 October 2011 - Boceprevir (Victrelis) improves hepatitis C treatment response in people co-infected with HIV: mid-study results : Merck announced results from a 24-week analysis of an ongoing 48-week Phase IIb clinical study evaluating the use of boceprevir in combination with peg-interferon alfa and ribavirin for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C genotype 1 infection in adult patients co-infected with HIV-1. The analysis showed that after 24 weeks of treatment, 70.5 percent of patients receiving boceprevir in combination with peg-interferon alfa-2b and ribavirin had undetectable hepatitis C virus RNA. Patients in the study were new to treatment for chronic hepatitis C, on an antiretroviral regimen and had stable HIV-1.
17 October 2011 - Quebec opens door to safe-injection sites : Quebec's health minister has opened the door to safe injection sites in the wake of September's Supreme Court ruling upholding the right of provinces to run such drug-treatment facilities. Yves Bolduc said Tuesday he met with representatives of the province's two proposed drug injection clinics - Cactus Montreal and Point de repère in Quebec City - and explained that local communities, health centres and police departments must be consulted and involved in setting up the centres. The Supreme Court said such facilities can save lives, and do not harm the communities around them, Bolduc said.
30 September 2011 - B.C. drug injection clinic can stay open, Supreme Court rules : The Supreme Court of Canada on Friday overrode federal objections to a controversial supervised drug injection clinic in Vancouver and ordered that it remain open. The Court said that the Harper government cannot refuse a special exemption allowing the clinic to operate without fear of prosecution for possessing and trafficking in hard drugs. The landmark ruling was a life-saving triumph for the Insite injection site, where people who user drugs can self-inject under the supervision of health professionals.
28 September 2011 - Call for Patient Group Input into Boceprevir Drug Review, Quebec : The Government of Quebec is beginning a process to determine if boceprevir for genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C will be added to the list of medications covered by the province. As part of this process, the Government of Quebec is looking for patient group input. The Canadian Liver Foundation is preparing a submission for October 11, 2011 and is looking for people affected by hepatitis C to volunteer their perspectives. The Government is interested in people's experiences living with hepatitis C and the potential impact of new treatments on people's lives. To contact the Canadian Liver Foundation:Betty Esperanza, Regional Director, Quebec Telephone: (514) 876-4170Email: email@example.com
13 September 2011 - New treatment options are on the horizon for people co-infected with HIV and hepatitis C virus : According to a recent review, the new hepatitis C treatment options boceprevir (Victrelis) and telaprevir (Incivek) may soon be available for people with HIV and hepatitis C. In the meantime, the authors suggested that strategies be developed to optimize management of hepatitis C in HIV-positive people with currently available treatment options. According to the authors of the review, results from the first clinical trials evaluating safety and efficacy of the two new hepatitis C protease inhibitors in people co-infected with HIV and hepatitis C should be available later this year.
22 August 2011 - Call for Patient Group Input in Telaprevir Drug Review : The Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) is looking for patient group input for the telaprevir Common Drug Review. This ensures that input from people living with hepatitis C is incorporated into the drug review process in a formal and meaningful way. The deadline for submitting input is September 14, 2011.
22 August 2011 - Health Canada has approved telaprevir (Incivek) for people with chronic hepatitis C : Health Canada has approved telaprevir (Incivek) for people with genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C with compensated liver disease who are new to treatment, or were treated previously but who did not achieve a sustained viral response (SVR).
3 August 2011 - New Report Card Concludes: Canada Must Adopt National Hepatitis Strategy to Fight Current Epidemic : On the occasion of World Hepatitis Day 2011, the Canadian Coalition of Organizations Responding to Hepatitis B and C submitted a national 2011 Hepatitis Strategy Report Card on government strategies developed to address hepatitis B and C prevention, treatment and support to all Premiers and Health Ministers and well as the Prime Minster of Canada and his Health Minister. Findings of the Report Card indicate that a more concerted effort must be undertaken to achieve an effective national hepatitis strategy and that there is a lack of collaboration and coordination between the governments in Canada that needs to be addressed.
3 August 2011 - Boceprevir (Victrelis) Approved in Canada: First in new class of drugs to significantly improve clearance of chronic hepatitis C virus from the body : Merck announced today that boceprevir (Victrelis) has been approved in Canada for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C genotype 1 infection in combination with the current standard therapy, peginterferon alpha and ribavirin, in adult patients (18 years and older) with compensated liver disease, including cirrhosis, who are previously untreated or who have failed previous therapy.
2 August 2011 - Vancouver Coastal Health to hand out crack pipes : Vancouver health officials will distribute new crack pipes to the city’s non-injection drug users this fall as part of a pilot project aimed at engaging crack cocaine smokers and reducing the transmission of disease such as hepatitis C, HIV and even respiratory illnesses.
28 June 2011 - Saskatchewan First Nation prepares to launch needle exchange : Sturgeon Lake First Nation, which is located about 50km northwest of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan will be introducing a needle exchange through their addictions program next month. They eventually hope to begin HIV testing and make treatment available for members of the First Nation living on the reserve.
9 June 2011 - World Hepatitis Day Canada - Call for events : World Hepatitis Day (WHD) is an annual event held to raise international awareness of hepatitis B and C, to influence positive change by preventing new infections and to increase access to testing and treatment. This year WHD will be held on July 28th, 2011. The World Hepatitis Alliance first launched WHD in 2008, and since then thousands of local events have taken place all around the world. For the 3rd year in a row, the Canadian Society for International Health (CSIH) will be coordinating WHD activities across Canada. This year’s campaign theme is “This is hepatitis…” along with the slogan “Know it. Confront it. Hepatitis affects everyone, everywhere.”CSIH and other groups across Canada will be working together to organize local World Hepatitis Day events. If you are holding an event to mark World Hepatitis Day, they would like to hear from you. Contact Alison Marshall (firstname.lastname@example.org) to have your event included in the WHD Canada directory.
9 June 2011 - World Hepatitis Day Canada Poster Contest - Call for submissions : World Hepatitis Day (WHD) is an annual event held to raise international awareness of hepatitis B and C, to influence positive change by preventing new infections and to increase access to testing and treatment. This year WHD will be held on July 28th, 2011. The World Hepatitis Alliance first launched WHD in 2008, and since then thousands of local events have taken place all around the world. For the 3rd year in a row, the Canadian Society for International Health (CSIH) will be coordinating WHD activities across Canada. This year’s campaign theme is “This is hepatitis…” along with the slogan “Know it. Confront it. Hepatitis affects everyone, everywhere.”The CSIH, in collaboration with other national and local community organizations, is organizing a national poster contest to mark World Hepatitis Day. Enter this contest and help make a difference in raising awareness about hepatitis. There are categories for both youth and adults, with the winner in each receiving a $200 cash prize as well as their posters being featured on the WHD Canada website. For more information contact Alison Marshall email@example.comContest details: Youth and Adults, CSC
3 June 2011 - Telemedicine Puts HCV Care in the Hands of Primary Care Physicians : Primary care physicians with telemedicine support can manage hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection as effectively as specialty clinics, researchers found.Related research and editorial available.
1 June 2011 - German researchers dig deep to understand how hepatitis C virus is transmitted sexually : An epidemic of sexually transmitted HCV is occurring across high-income countries among some gay and bisexual men, particularly those who are HIV positive and who do not inject illicit substances.
4 May 2011 - Call for Patient Group Input in Boceprevir Drug Review : The Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) is looking for patient group input for the Boceprevir Common Drug Review. This ensures that input from people living with hepatitis C is incorporated into the drug review process in a formal and meaningful way. The deadline for submitting input is May 26, 2011. For more information, see the Guide for Patient Group Input or visit the CADTH Web site.
3 May 2011 - Viral Load, HIV Status, but not IL28B Predict Vertical HCV Transmission : Higher maternal HCV viral load (the amount of virus measured in the blood) is the only factor that predicts vertical transmission of hepatitis C, according to a recent study published by Hepatology. The study also found that vertical transmission was more likely to occur when the mother was co-infected with HIV than in cases of HCV mono-infection. IL28b gene variation does not play a role in vertical transmission, the study concluded.
18 April 2011 - Toronto residents, stakeholders open to safe drug injection site: study : Toronto business owners, residents, police and drug users say they could support a supervised drug consumption site if it meant getting drug use off city streets, according to preliminary results from a long-expected study on the issue.
25 March 2011 - TAG Pipeline Report Outlines Future of Hepatitis C Treatment : Earlier this month, The Treatment Action Group (TAG) published its latest Hepatitis C Treatment Pipeline Report. The Pipeline Report combines a comprehensive overview of new HCV treatments under development with detailed information about boceprevir and telaprevir.Related story available here.
7 March 2011 - CMA gets go-ahead to intervene in supervised drug-injection case : The Supreme Court of Canada has granted the CMA intervener status in a controversial case that pits the federal government against several health care groups. The CMA argues that the Insite Supervised Injection Site in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside should remain open because it is a useful tool for treating injection drug users.
23 February 2011 - Social Networks and HCV transmission : Transmission of hepatitis C virus (HCV) is occurring in Canada and other high-income countries, mostly through sharing contaminated equipment for substance use. Additionally, sexual transmission of HCV has been documented in men who have sex with men (MSM) through unprotected anal sex and other activities.
14 February 2011 - An H.I.V. Strategy Invites Addicts In - InSite featured in the New York Times : InSite, a supervised injection site in Canada, was recently featured in a New York Times article. The article discussed the success of InSite and Vancouver's harm reduction programs in reducing the transmission of HIV.
9 February 2011 - Recall of alcohol swabs co-packaged with PEGETRON : Merck Canada Inc., in consultation with Health Canada, issued a notice to health care practitioners and the Canadian public that PEGETRON® used in the treatment of adult patients with chronic hepatitis C. has been co-packaged with recalled Triad pads. Merck Canada is advising consumers to not use the alcohol prep pads, labelled ALCO-PREP® Pre-injection cleansing swab, packaged with PEGETRON® REDIPEN® but to use alternative alcohol prep pads, or a sterile gauze pad and isopropyl alcohol (70%).
21 January 2011 - Press release: Health Canada Grants Priority Review for Telaprevir for the Treatment of Hepatitis C : Vertex today announced the completion of a New Drug Submission (NDS) to the Therapeutic Product Directorate (TPD) of Health Canada seeking approval for telaprevir in Canada. Telaprevir was also granted Priority Review in Canada, which allows for faster review for promising medicines that address life-threatening or severely debilitating conditions and for which there are few effective therapies already available. Standard review in Canada takes 18 months or more and Priority Review typically shortens the review time to approximately six to nine months.
18 January 2011 - Anemia during Hepatitis C Treatment Predicts Sustained Response to Pegylated Interferon/ribavirin : Hepatitis C patients who develop anemia during treatment with pegylated interferon plus ribavirin are more likely to achieve a sustained virological response (SVR), according to data from the IDEAL trial published in the November 2010 issue of Gastroenterology. Both ribavirin dose reduction -- which did not decrease SVR -- and medications that stimulate red blood cell production may be used to manage anemia and help people stay on treatment, the study authors concluded.
20 December 2010 - Hepatitis Experts Create Roadmap for Accelerating the Development of Targeted Therapies for Hepatitis C Virus : To improve the care for individuals infected with the hepatitis C virus, a major health problem and a leading cause of chronic liver disease around the world, nearly 200 international hepatitis experts have taken an important step in escalating the introduction of a new class of targeted therapies for HCV.
17 December 2010 - Call for better access to treatment for hepatitis B and C in Ontario : With the recent Institute of Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) study ranking hepatitis B and C in the top five most burdensome infectious diseases, the Canadian Liver Foundation is calling upon the provincial government to establish standardized screening protocols and to make treatment more widely accessible for all Ontarians with hepatitis B and C.
15 December 2010 - European recommendations issued on acute hepatitis C infection in patients with HIV : European investigators and activists have developed recommendations for the management of acute hepatitis C infection in patients with HIV. Published in the online edition of AIDS, they cover the diagnosis, epidemiology, natural history and treatment of the infection.It is estimated that approximately a third of HIV-positive patients in Europe are co-infected with hepatitis C. The epidemic of sexually transmitted hepatitis C among HIV-positive gay men has lead to a renewed focus on the infection. In May 2010 doctors, researchers and activists from a number of European-wide bodies met in Paris to develop consensus guidelines about the management of acute hepatitis C infection.
8 December 2010 - HIV and Hepatitis C "ravaging" city: report :
1 December 2010 - Safe injection sites in Montreal :
11 November 2010 - Evidence of intense ongoing endemic transmission of hepatitis C virus in Egypt : Egypt has the highest prevalence of antibodies to hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the world, estimated nationally at 14.7%. An estimated 9.8% are chronically infected. Numerous HCV prevalence studies in Egypt have published various estimates from different Egyptian communities, suggesting that Egypt, relative to the other nations of the world, might be experiencing intense ongoing HCV transmission.
6 October 2010 - Hepatitis C Virus can damage brain cells :
6 October 2010 - Over 200 experts call on Senators to be sensible on crime : Over 200 frontline organizations, public health professionals, researchers and experts, working with people who use drugs and those vulnerable to HIV infection, have endorsed a letter calling on the federal government to get sensible, rather than tough on crime.
20 September 2010 - Targeted treatment programs key to help crack users: study : As crack use rises in Canada, so does the urgent need for targeted prevention and treatment programs—especially in smaller communities. That’s the conclusion of a new study led by Simon Fraser University health sciences researcher Benedikt Fischer.
8 September 2010 - Drug use trends in Victoria and Vancouver, and changes in injection drug use after the closure of Victoria's fixed site needle exchange : The Centre for Addictions Research of B.C. at the University of Victoria recently released a report titled, “Drug Use Trends in Victoria and Vancouver”. This study followed 160 illicit-drug users in Vancouver and Victoria, who were surveyed every six months since 2007. The study found that the sharing of used needles by IDU’s in Victoria increased substantially following the closing of the only fixed site needle exchange in Victoria in May 2008. Following the closing of the needle exchange in Victoria, mobile needle exchange services continued to serve people, however the number of needles distributed monthly dropped by 15000. The study also found that participants reported sharing needles and reusing needles more often in Victoria than Vancouver where there are several fixed site needle exchanges. The report recommended that at least one fixed needle exchange be re-established in Victoria to work alongside the mobile exchanges.
1 September 2010 - RCMP and the truth about supervised injection sites : Macleans included an article this month detailing that the RCMP was prepared to publicly support Insite last summer, but backed away at the last minute due to pressure from above. Insite is a supervised injection facility in Vancouver’s downtown eastside that has been under fire from the Federal Conservatives, who are committed to shutting it down. The RCMP was planning on issuing a joint statement with the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS that supported research showing the benefits and positive impact of supervised injection sites. They also were going to publicly acknowledge that previous RCMP commissioned reviews that had contradicted the efficacy of Insite did not meet “conventional academic standards”.
1 September 2010 - Tattooing linked to higher risk of hepatitis C: UBC study : The University of British Colombia recently completed a study on the relationship between tattoos and HCV prevalence. The study found that the incidence of HCV after tattooing is directly related to the number of tattoos that a person has. The researchers are calling for infection-control guidelines for tattoo artists and their clients and enforcement through inspections. The also recommend prevention programs focusing on youth and prisoners to combat the spread of hepatitis infection.
30 June 2010 - The Vienna Declaration - A Global Call to Action for Science-Based Drug Policy : This is the official declaration of the XVIII International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2010) to be held in Vienna, Austria from July 18th to 23rd. The declaration was drafted by a team of international experts and initiated by several of the world’s leading HIV and drug policy scientific bodies.
4 June 2010 - World Health Organization (WHO) resolution on viral hepatitis by the 63rd World Health Assembly : World Hepatitis Alliance also posted this news item on their website http://www.worldhepatitisalliance.org/en/Policy/WHO_Resolution.aspx
10 May 2010 - Summary of Emerging Findings from the 2007 National Inmate Infectious Diseases and Risk-Behaviours Survey : A report released by the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) reveals an HIV prevalence rate in federal prisons that rivals those of many countries in sub-Saharan Africa and is greater than the HIV prevalence rates in all other regions of the world.