Welcome to Africanews

Please select your experience

Watch Live



Unitaid announces $31 million investment to prevent hepatitis C in marginalized groups

A hepatitis C button   -  
Copyright © africanews
Michael Macor/San Francisco Chronicle


Global health initiative, Unitaid, says it is making a $31 million investment to prevent hepatitis C among people who inject drugs, and other at-risk populations such as those in prison.

Marginalized groups are disproportionately affected by the blood-borne disease, which can cause serious liver damage and cancer when left untreated.

Four in ten people who inject drugs and one in four incarcerated individuals have active hepatitis C infections.

Unitaid says there are now highly effective treatments that are affordable in most low- and middle-income countries, where 80 per cent of people with the virus live.

Yet most of them do not have access to care.

Its funding will support efforts to reach these people by incorporating testing and treatment into harm reduction programmes.

At the same time, it will trial the use of two underused products aimed at reducing risks associated with injecting drugs.

Both will be tested in Egypt, India, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Ukraine, and Vietnam.

The prevention tools and approaches will also help prevent transmission of other blood-borne diseases including HIV.

View more