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The American Academy of HIV Medicine (AAHIVM) announces the creation of the new AAHIVM Institute for Hepatitis C. The AAHIVM board of directors recently voted unanimously to create the Institute to spearhead current and future AAHIVM programs and activities focused on HCV. The Institute's goal is to advance hepatitis C (HCV) care through education, professional development and advocacy. Vice chair of the AAHIVM board of directors, Dr. Margaret Hoffman-Terry, will serve as the director of the institute.
A recent survey of AAHIVM members in Ryan White clinics, community health centers, private practices, and academic and/or hospital settings confirmed that HIV practitioners are caring for significant numbers of patients with HCV. Findings from that survey show that approximately 1 in 4 patients currently being seen by an AAHIVM member or credentialed HIV Specialist is infected with Hepatitis C (with or without HIV co-infection). In addition, 81 percent of clinician respondents felt that they have the proper clinical knowledge and education to expertly treat HCV infection. However, 92 percent of the respondents expressed a desire for even more professional support in this area.
"It is clear that HIV providers are more engaged in HCV care than ever before," says James M. Friedman, executive director of AAHIVM. "We are excited to offer our members a new, more complete focus on HCV through the new Institute, and more opportunities to increase their professional development and engagements on this important issue."
The Institute for Hepatitis C will have a visual presence on the AAHIVM website, housing the latest scientific and medical information on HCV, including prevention and testing information, relevant research, treatment protocols and innovations, FDA treatment approval announcements and alliances and partnerships. The Institute will also house and underwrite AAHIVM's ongoing advocacy work related to promoting better access to HCV treatments.
"AAHIVM is launching this new Institute to build upon our past initiatives and lead the way in Hepatitis C testing, prevention, care and treatment outcomes throughout the country," says Zelalem Temesgen, MD, AAHIVS, of the Mayo Clinic and Chair of the AAHIVM board of directors. "Our goal is to ensure that HIV treaters are prepared to meet the new challenges of HCV care with as much success as they've had in combatting the HIV epidemic for the last 30 years."
As part of the Institute, AAHIVM is also launching a monthly, practice-focused e-newsletter on hepatitis C, The HIV/HCV ReSource, which will be co-edited by Margaret Hoffman-Terry, MD, FACP, AAHIVS of Lehigh Valley Hospital and Mark Sulkowski, MD, from John Hopkins University School of Medicine. The newsletter will be sent electronically to AAHIVM members and credentialed providers and posted within the AAHIVM Institute for Hepatitis C portal of the Academy website.
"The newsletter will contain a synthesis of the most relevant recent clinical and non-clinical information published throughout the world in an effort to keep our members current in this rapidly changing arena," says Hoffman-Terry.
Source: American Academy of HIV Medicine (AAHIVM)