Why the campaign?
Hepatitis C (Hep-C or HCV) is a virus that can cause liver disease, and if untreated, can be fatal. Chronic HCV is a “silent killer” as usually people do not have any symptoms until they have serious liver damage, which takes many years to develop. Many deaths from serious liver disease or liver cancer can be prevented with early diagnosis and treatment. More
In India, Hep-C is a ‘hidden epidemic’. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are about 12 million people chronically infected with Hep-C in India, the majority of whom do not know their status. Yet, the cost is (as high Rs. 3,75,000/$6000) and complexity (24-48 weeks of injectables) associated with the current treatment has deterred many countries, including India, from investing in a testing and treatment program for controlling this virus.
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) India has started providing Hepatitis C treatment for a small number of people co-infected with HIV in its clinic in Mumbai.
This year the World Health Organization (WHO) released its guidelines for hepatitis C providing countries with a road map for screening and treating this disease. The guidelines include new oral drugs known as direct antivirals (DAA) that promise to revolutionise treatment with higher levels of cure, simplified regimens and fewer side effects.
On this World Hepatitis Day, let us urge our health minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan to initiate a public health response to control this epidemic by beginning to test, diagnose and treat Hepatitis C.
Who can Join this Campaign?
Anyone who is willing to use social media (such as Twitter or Facebook) can send this message to Indian Government.
How long is the campaign?
The social media campaign will start from July 23 to August 2
What do we do?
You can direct your messages to the Indian Health Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan @drharshvardhan through social media conversations by adding #TestnTreatHCV to your Tweets.
What to post?
We have some suggested tweets and Facebook messages that we will share on MSF India’s Facebook Page and Twitter handle which you too can use and share widely.
.@drharshvardhan #HCV is curable and treatable but drugs are priced beyond patient’s reach #TestnTreatHCV
.@drharshvardhan Make #HEPC drugs affordable and available #TestnTreatHCV
.@drharshvardhan Treatment for #HCV is unavailable in the public health system and unaffordable in private healthcare #TestnTreatHCV
.@drharshvardhan 12 million people in India are chronically infected with #HEPC #TestnTreatHCV
.@drharshvardhan If left untreated, #HEPC can cause liver cancer #TestnTreatHCV
.@drharshvardhan If the govt can treat and prevent #HIV virus, it can also prevent and treat #HEPC virus #TestnTreatHCV
.@drharshvardhan #HIV and #HEPC have similar routes of transmission. Adapt the #HIV programme to cover #HEPC #TestnTreatHCV
.@drharshvardhan #HIV taught us treatment is prevention. Treat and prevent the transmission of #HEPC virus in India #TestnTreatHCV
.@drharshvardhan Many #HIV positive people are also co-infected with #HEPC and are now dying of liver cancer in India #TestnTreatHCV
.@drharshvardhan Allocate adequate funds to #TestnTreatHCV and tackle the growing epidemic of #HEPC in India
.@drharshvardhan Make generic production of new oral #HEPC drugs a national priority. Break the #patents, treat the patients #TestnTreatHCV
.@drharshvardhan Lack of #HEPC prevention & treatment program is fuelling the growth of this silent epidemic in the country #TestnTreatHCV
.@drharshvardhan STOP the viral timebomb #TestnTreatHCV #HEPC
.@drharshvardhan #TestnTreatHCV prevent liver cancer
.@drharshvardhan New #HEPC drug costs $1000 a pill in USA. Make generic prodn a priority 2 reduce costs of #HEPC drugs #TestnTreatHCV
.@drharshvardhan Indian generic drugs reduced #HIV treatment cost from $10000 to $350 in 2001. Do this 4 #HEPC treatment now #TestnTreatHCV
.@drharshvardhan India set up a testing programme for #HIV 10 years ago, when will it begin for #HEPC #TestnTreatHCV
.@drharshvardhan Indian generic prodn of #HIV drugs put 10M on treatment. Will India generically produce new #HEPC drugs? #TestnTreatHCV