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Coinfection of HIV/HCV
Transcript of Coinfection of HIV/HCV
Hepatitis C is a chronic liver disease which is caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV)
HCV is spread through blood-to-blood contact
Common symptoms: fatigue, reduced appetite, sore muscles, nausea, abdominal pain or jaundice. HCV can lead to liver cancer
HIV/HCV Coinfection - The simultaneous infection of HIV and the HCV
Better HIV healthcare means more time for HCV to develop
Effects on the Liver
Cirrhosis, liver cancer, and other liver diseases
How HIV and HCV Effect Each Other
HIV infection leads to higher HCV blood count which means, faster progression
Controversies on how HCV genotypes affect transmission to HIV
HCV has several genetic variations called genotypes
Many stay untested which leads to False negatives
Regular testing if you are an IDU
Hep C medicine alone is strong
Interferon; Peg Interferon
Which one you take is based on how much your body can handle
General Care for Coinfection
Exercise / Sleep
Avoid alcohol and drugs
The fear & stigma of HIV & HCV complicate social relationships
Social determinants of health may increase rates of coinfection
Coinfection and the link between Injection drug user (IDU) and homelessness
High infection rates among the prison population
High proportion of those incarcerated use illicit drugs
Lack of harm-reduction interventions
Other risk factors include, unsafe body piercings, tattooing,
unprotected sex with other IDUs
Coinfection in MSM Community
Lack of knowledge
Coinfection can threaten the sense of community
between HIV+ men with other HIV+ men
Silence and shame when it comes to (non)disclosure
Risker sex practices can lead to Coinfection
Coinfection, Politically (correct)?
Stephen Harper during 2006 election campaign: “We as a government will not use taxpayers’ money to fund drug use” (Dooling and Rachlis 1442)
Why Use a Safe Injection
Decreases amount of public drug use
Provides IDUs with onsite medical care
Decreases drug litter
Insite - Supervised
Established in 2003 in Vancouver as first SIF in North America
No increase in drug dealing, drug uses
Over 10 years estimated savings of $18 million in treatment costs and save 1175 life-years
Harper’s Fight Against Insite
Harper government removed harm reduction approach and tried to reverse Insite’s exemption
Federal government has tried to close down 3 times
Federal government ceased funding for Insite
Fig. 1. National Anti-Drug Strategy Funding by Category
Harper’s Fight Against Insite (cont.)
Canada’s anti-drug policy funding of 64 million:
The Lack of Canadian Support for Harm Reduction in Prisons
Harper government enacted new laws that will lead to increase in incarceration of drug users
Harper government moved away from 2005 Canada’s National Framework for Action
2006 government axed a $600,000 pilot tattoo program
Prison needle exchanges in other countries – eg. Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Armenia
No increase in drug use
Reduction in HIV/HCV
No cases of needles being used as weapons against staff
Benefits of Harm Reduction in Prisons
Prison needle exchange helps:
Reduce overdose deaths
Reduce medical costs and provide treatment for addiction
Cost to prison system to treat inmate for:
UN supports needle exchange programs – no NEP in federal or provincial prisons
Harper’s Fight Against Insite (cont.)
Federal government ignored scientific evidence in support for Insite and misled public about its benefits
“although the use of illicit drugs does pose a risk to life and security of the person, ‘these risks are attributable to the substances themselves and not the laws prohibiting their possession and distribution’"
The Social determinants of health
Be Positive About Being +
Sifs & Prison Programs Save lives & Money!
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HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks the immune system. When the body can no longer fight infection, the disease has progressed to AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)
For a person to become infected with HIV, the virus must enter the bloodstream (e.g. engaging in unprotected sexual intercourse, sharing needles)
Treatment is available, however it is life long process