Friday, May 31, 2024

Treatment literacy on Hepatitis-C conducted

Dimapur, August 21: ARK Foundation with support from the Social Welfare Department, and in collaboration with IDS Tuensang and RAF Dimapur conducted 2 programme on “Treatment literacy on Hepatitis C” with drug users and staff of IDS on August 17 and RAF on August 21.
The workshops were conducted with the objective to create more literacy about treatment aspect in regard to the new treatment drugs for Hepatitis C. Participants of the workshop included drug users and NGO staff, and Ketho Angami facilitated the programme as the resource person. Subject matters on various issues about HCV, test and diagnostics and treatment with the new oral regimens were imparted to the drug users.
The programme started with Ketho sharing the objectives of the workshop and the need to put special emphasis on the need for the drug using community to take ownership of the HCV issue since it is preventable and curable. It was followed by a presentation on the nature of HCV testing which starts initially with the antibody test followed by a series of other diagnostic test and monitoring test during treatment.
He mentioned that Elisa test is done to detect the HCV antibodies known as the antibody test. During this test, if the result is negative means the person has never been exposed to HCV infection. However if the result is positive, the person need to do HCV viral load (PCR) RNA, and confirm whether the immune system has cleared it spontaneously or it is still prevailing as an active chronic HCV infection. If Elisa is negative, but CD4 is less than 200, then one need HCV viral load test to confirm HCV infection.
To confirm HCV chronic infection – Viral load test (HCV RNA) test is necessary to confirm whether you have chronic infection (that you have HCV). This will mean that, if you have detectable HCV RNA in your bloodstream, it means that you are currently infected with HCV. If your hepatitis C viral load is undetectable, then the infection has been cleared off through auto immune response and treatment is therefore not required.
The participants were informed on the new treatment drugs namely Sofosbuvir in combination with Daclatasvir or Ledipasvir with the genotype test not a requisite anymore. This is so because the new drugs called DAAs works across all the genotype and is treatment period is ideally for a three months course. These drugs shows treatment cure rate as high as 96% with minimal side effects.
Following this there was a round of question and answer session. (Page News Service)