AAHIVM Creates Institute for Hepatitis C

by Winnie McCroy

EDGE Editor

Thursday November 27, 2014

The American Academy of HIV Medicine (AAHIVM), the nation's leading HIV care provider organization, has announced 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.

"It is clear that HIV providers are more engaged in HCV care than ever before," stated 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."

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 one in four 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.?

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.?? Vice Chair of the AAHIVM Board of Directors, Dr. Margaret Hoffman-Terry, will serve as the Director of the Institute.?

"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," said 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," said Hoffman-Terry.

?The latest issue of the AAHIVM quarterly magazine, "HIV Specialist," is focused on HIV/HCV co-infection. It is also available for download within the Institute.
The American Academy of HIV Medicine (AAHIVM) is a professional organization that supports the HIV practitioner and promotes accessible, quality care for all Americans living with HIV disease. Our membership of HIV practitioners and credentialed providers give direct care to more than three-fourths of HIV patients in the US.

For more information, visit http://www.aahivm.org/hcv

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.