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Women for Positive Action Launch a New Educational Tool on 'Hepatitis and Coinfection in Women Living With HIV' to Celebrate International Women's Day 2015.

LONDON, March 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --

To mark International Women's Day (March 8, 2015), Women for Positive Action has launched a practical and informative new educational tool entitled 'Hepatitis and coinfection in women living with HIV'. Led by a global, multidisciplinary group of experts, Women for Positive Action is committed to addressing the specific concerns of women living with HIV. This new tool (download here) offers empowering information to coinfected women and practical guidance to those involved in their care.

In coinfected individuals immunosuppression exerts deleterious effects by greatly accelerating the occurrence of cirrhosis and liver cancer.[sup.[] [sup.1] [sup.]] The complexity of treatment, the double stigma of coinfection and the perceived risk of side effects are all known to adversely affect the emotional wellbeing of patients,[sup.[] [sup.2] [sup.]] and this can be compounded in many women struggling to balance work and family commitments.

"I have been struggling with HIV for years and when I finally got stabilised on HAART, I feared I would die from my liver because of hepatitis C. I failed HCV treatment two times and had to cope with unbearable side effects. Right when I was desperate that I would die from cirrhosis, I got cured thanks to the new HCV drugs - it was like being born a second time." A woman recently cured from HCV.

The HCV landscape has changed dramatically in recent years with the availability of treatments that cure a large proportion of patients[sup.[] [sup.3] [sup.]]; but too often women from high risk groups are left behind. This tailored educational tool will help support those caring for coinfected women to provide practical guidance and respond to their needs on aspects such as treatment, emotional wellbeing, access to care and pregnancy planning. This tool also aims to raise awareness of women and their inclusion in research and access to care in this new era of HCV treatments.

Women for Positive Action is committed to exploring and addressing the challenges faced by women living with HIV and those involved in their care. For more information visit the website, http://www.womenforpositiveaction.org and keep up to date with activities through Twitter @WFPA_HIV.

Notes to Editor

130-150 million people globally have chronic HCV infection and up to 500,000 people die each year from HCV-related liver diseases.[sup.[] [sup.4] [sup.]] Five million individuals are estimated to have HIV/HCV coinfection[sup.[] [sup.4] [sup.]] so approximately 25-30% of those with HIV are coinfected with HCV.[sup.[] [sup.5] [sup.]] Coinfection affects a large proportion of women living with HIV.[sup.[] [sup.6] [sup.]] HCV is a rapidly evolving treatment area with a number of new therapies now available.

Visit http://www.womenforpositiveaction.org for information about ongoing projects. Women for Positive Action is an educational program funded by AbbVie. All content is independently generated by the Women for Positive Action faculty experts reflecting their knowledge and opinions.

References

1. WHO. Hepatitis C Fact Sheet No.164, April 2014.

2. Pereira M et al. AIDS Care 2014;26:56-64.

3. Wendt A & Bourliere M. Ther Adv Infect Dis 2013;1:191-208.

4. Operskalski E et al. Curr HIV/AIDS Rep 2011;8:12-22.

5. Alter MJ. J Hepatol 2006;44:S6-9.

6. Tremeau-Bravard A et al. Afr Health Sci 2012;12:312-317.

For further information please contact the Women for Positive Action S ecretariat: Email: WFPA@litmus-mme.com Tel: +44-(0)20-7632-1924 Twitter: @WFPA_HIV
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Publication:PR Newswire Europe
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 6, 2015
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