Universal Health Coverage & HIV – The Potential Impact of Collaborative Innovations with Viral Hepatitis Elimination at the Global Fund Replenishment Conference – Oct 8, 2019 – 1PM

ICE-HBV & partners are organizing a side-event at the Global Fund Replenishment Conference on October 8 from 1pm to 2:30pm. The session aims to underscore the potential public health impact of expanding viral hepatitis elimination programming, including through strategic integration with existing efforts to improve HIV care and prevention outcomes. To register, please contact info@ice-hbv.org.

As highlighted in WHO’s Progress report on HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections 2019, viral hepatitis caused 1.4 million deaths in 2016, a number comparable to deaths caused by tuberculosis and higher than those caused by HIV. However, the number of deaths due to viral hepatitis is increasing over time, while, thanks to the global effort to tackle these epidemics, mortality caused by tuberculosis and HIV is declining. Most viral hepatitis deaths are due to chronic liver disease. Globally, in 2015, an estimated 257 million people were living with chronic HBV infection, and 71 million people with chronic HCV infection. Among the 36.7 million persons living with HIV in 2015, an estimated 2.7 million had chronic HBV infection and 2.3 million had been infected with HCV. Liver diseases are a major cause of morbidity and mortality among those living with HIV and coinfected with viral hepatitis as well as some key populations infected with viral hepatitis and at high risk of HIV infection, including people who inject drugs and prisoners.

The WHO 2019 report highlights the critical connections between efforts to achieve the global targets of elimination of viral hepatitis and reductions in HIV incidence and mortality. Service coverage of HBV and HCV testing and treatment needs to be rapidly scaled up. Hepatitis services need to be delivered through a public health approach to benefit all, including through strategic integration with HIV programming where it makes sense. Sustainable financing is required to enable universal health coverage. Innovations are also essential; new diagnostics, treatments, cure and vaccines are being developed. They should be tested and delivered urgently to transform the hepatitis response and attain the elimination targets.

Session Objectives

– To highlight innovations in the viral hepatitis response that can have a wide public health impact and show how viral hepatitis elimination can contribute to Universal Health Coverage and to improving clinical outcomes for people living with HIV.
– To advocate for increased investments in viral hepatitis, including to achieve micro-elimination among people living with HIV and among key populations at risk of HIV, and beyond.
– To underline the feasibility of viral hepatitis elimination by looking at cost estimates, procurement systems and innovative financing. Due the existence of now affordable diagnostics and curative treatments for HCV, an effective and inexpensive HBV vaccine and the prospects for further innovations towards an HBV cure, enhanced investments made today can have a major impact on global health, within a short period of time.

Session Outline & Presentations

Co-Chairs – Pr François Dabis, ANRS + Charles Gore, EndHep 2030 and Medicines Patent Pool

Speaker – Dr Benjamin Cowie, WHO Collaborating Centre for Viral Hepatitis at the Doherty Institute
The State of the Viral Hepatitis Epidemic – Success and Challenges

Speaker – Dr Yvan Hutin, WHO, Geneva – The Price Tag + Universal Health Coverage: integrated services delivery for HIV & hepatitis

Speaker – Dr. Christian Ramers, Senior Clinical Advisor on Viral Hepatitis, Clinton Health Access Initiative
Leveraging rapidly falling commodity costs to improve clinical outcomes among people living with HIV and key populations through elimination of viral hepatitis.

Speaker – Jessica Hicks, Head of Programmes, World Hepatitis Alliance
Involving the affected community and civil society in innovative financing strategies

Speaker – Pr Massimo Levrero–Board member, International Coalition to Eliminate HBV
Collaborative Biomedical Innovations for Viral Hepatitis Elimination


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