Viral Hepatitis Elimination, 24–25 February 2022
The conference will bring together world experts, from the World Health Organization and from countries with advanced hepatitis elimination programmes, to explore measures to mitigate this global health challenge. Speakers will describe methods with which to assess the burden of viral liver disease. The comparison of approaches based on modelling or direct measurement will provide delegates with a range of solutions to apply or adapt to their own programmes. The need for continuing surveillance for liver disease in those patients who have eliminated their viruses will be discussed. Delegates will also learn from debates on recommendations for longterm follow-up.
In recent years, efforts to eliminate hepatitis B and D have been overshadowed by impressive developments in therapeutics for hepatitis C. This event will restore the balance, by providing guidance from experts on approaches to immunisation and on the management of these challenging infections. The major burden of hepatitis B and D lies in the developing world, and experts will discuss and describe different approaches to improving access to care among those populations most at risk.
In our data-rich world, the management of information about patients with diseases associated with considerable stigma needs to be handled with great care. This event will catalyse discussion about these issues and will outline approaches that to facilitate the necessary compromises – between personal data security and data required for national elimination planning – that need to be reached.
As populations who have difficulty accessing regular healthcare services are often infected by hepatotrophic viruses, the needs of these people and the challenges that they face will be reviewed and discussed. Because the views of patients are paramount to these discussions, the event will bring together patient organisations, clinicians, and policymakers, thereby ensuring that everyone has an equal opportunity to take part in these exchanges and benefit from the recent advances in biomedical science.
The development of affordable therapeutics for viral hepatitis provides a unique opportunity to eliminate these infections that are responsible for grave global morbidity and mortality. While the current rise in deaths due to viral hepatitis could be reduced significantly by the elimination of viral hepatitis, the COVID-19 pandemic and the shift in focus to other viral infections is posing a risk to the elimination agenda. This event provides an opportunity for world authorities in the field of hepatology to come together, discuss and resolve outstanding issues. This gathering of minds will help to revitalise elimination programmes and to provide models of care that can be adapted and developed across the globe.
The event will be invaluable to physicians and public health workers who are involved in the management of viral hepatitis. Other specialists, healthcare practitioners, and policymakers will benefit from attending, as will virologists and those involved in developing and deploying testing reagents and programmes. Patient organisations are key participants in the programme and patient support services from around the world will derive much useful information from the event.
Maria Buti, Spain
Antonio Craxi, Italy
Graham Foster, United Kingdom
Mojca Matičič, Slovenia
Francesco Negro, Switzerland
Stefan Zeuzem, Germany
Fabien Zoulim, France