Hepatitis and other drug-related infectious diseases will be the focus of ‘Hepatitis week’, taking place at the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) in Lisbon from 12–16 June (1). The initiative will bring together some 100 specialists from: EU Member States, candidate and potential candidate countries to the EU, as well as partner agencies, civil society and professional organisations.
Viral hepatitis, particularly infection caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV), is highly prevalent among injecting drug users across Europe. For every 100 people infected with HCV (antibody-positive), 75 to 80 will develop chronic infection (2).
The week will kick off with a two-day meeting of the hepatitis B and C network of the Stockholm-based EU agency, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) (12–13 June). It will close with the regular annual meeting of the EMCDDA drug-related infectious diseases (DRID) network of national experts (15–16 June).
A joint session on 14 June will provide the two networks with an opportunity to share expertise and experience and to discuss how Europe can improve its surveillance of, and response to, hepatitis among people who inject drugs (PWID). The experts will also discuss practical evidence-based strategies, share examples of good practice and identify solutions to common challenges.
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