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  WHO: Early release of the hepatitis C treatment recommendations / launch of new surveillance guide
WHO HCV Guidelines Released at APASL Feb 2016

Download the PDF here
Download the PDF here
Dear colleagues and partners,
We are pleased to inform you about two new WHO hepatitis publications released over the last few days.
On 24 February 2016, WHO held a symposium at the 25th annual conference of the Asia Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver (APASL 2016) in Tokyo, Japan (http://www.who.int/hepatitis/news-events/apasl2016/). At the symposium, WHO disseminated a policy brief with a set of "Early-release recommendations from updated guidelines for the treatment of people with chronic hepatitis C infection" (http://www.who.int/hepatitis/publications/hepatitis-c-guidelines-policy/). These recommendations focussed on the introduction of new, improved medicines for hepatitis C, and presented for the first time, WHO-recommended preferred and alternative regimens of direct-acting antivirals for people with hepatitis C infection. They are part of the full updated guidelines on hepatitis C to be released at the International Liver Congress (EASL2016) taking place on 13-17 April in Barcelona, Spain. By sharing these treatment recommendations at APASL2016, we wanted to inform, as early as possible, national policymakers and partner agencies so that they can consider these recommendations when treating patients and in developing national guidelines.
On 29 February 2016, we released the first WHO guide for hepatitis surveillance, "Technical considerations and case definitions to improve surveillance for viral hepatitis" (http://www.who.int/hepatitis/publications/hep-surveillance-guide-pub/en/ ). The document provides guidance on the three purposes of viral hepatitis surveillance, including (1) detecting outbreaks, monitoring trends in incidence and identifying risk factors for new, incident infections, (2) estimating the prevalence of chronic infections and monitoring trends in sentinel groups and (3) estimating the burden of sequelae. Most importantly, for the first time, WHO proposes case definitions for all types of acute and chronic hepatitis.
We hope that these two new documents will be useful in your work and you can share them further among your networks. We also attached a set of draft key messages on hepatitis C treatment which may be helpful for your advocacy and communication. Please let us, here at WHO Global Hepatitis Programme, know of your views on these new releases, and how we can further collaborate to accelerate the access to hepatitis services for people who are waiting for them. I would like to thank Stefan Wiktor and the full Global Hepatitis Programme team for the hard work. Special thanks go to many of you for making excellent contributions throughout the process.
With warm regards
Dr Gottfried Hirnschall
HIV/AIDS Department and
Global Hepatitis Programme
World Health Organization
Tel: +41 22 791 27 96
e-mail: hirnschallg@who.int

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