European conference on Hepatitis C and drug use
Today the hepatitis C virus (HCV) affects an estimated 9 million of European citizens. People who inject drugs, or who injected in their past,are the largest group with estimated prevalence rates in some European countries up to 90%. In other populations such as among "men who have sex with men (MSM)", infection rates are also rising rapidly. Without proper treatment HCV can be a serious and even deadly disease.
The considerable and increasing burden of HCV across Europe is rarely reflected in awareness or attention to the issue. However, this is about to change. Highly effective new treatments are being introduced and there is a growing recognition that truly inclusive testing and treatment policies need to be established now.
The 1st European conference will bring together key actors on HCV, including drug user community representatives, harm reduction experts, health care professionals, pharmaceutical companies, researchers and policy makers to develop pathways for effective health responses and to open treatment for those who need it.
One of the highlights during the conference will be the presentation of the 'Berlin Declaration', a pressing call to national and European policy makers, to ensure better access and quality of hepatitis treatment for the most marginalised groups and individuals.
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