On 27-28 April 2023, Peduli Hati Bangsa had the opportunity to take part in Access to emerging medications for the prevention and treatment of hepatitis B and HIV consultation meeting organized by TREAT Asia/amfAR in Bangkok.
The aim of this meeting was to review morbidity and mortality data specifically in the Hepatitis B region in Asia Pacific, understand the available treatments and currently in clinical trials for Hepatitis B and HIV, and develop strategies related to access to prevention and treatment in this region.
Some of the key points are:
- The Hepatitis B burden in Asia Pacific reaches 59% of the total global Hepatitis B burden
- Hepatitis B has the highest number where in the Asia Pacific region alone 176 million people are living with Hepatitis B, compared to 20 million people living with Hepatitis C and 6 million people living with HIV
- Currently available Hepatitis B treatment acts to inhibit HBV polymerase (these include: Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF), Tenofovir alafenamide (TAF), Entecavir, Entecavir, Adefovir dipivoxil, Lamivudine and Telbivudine). In addition, Peg IFN alpha-2a is also available as Immunomodulatory agent
- Several potential hepatitis B antivirals on clinical trials are targeting other stages of the hepatitis B virus cycle from the stage of virus entry until the virus is released from the infected cell.
- Several classes of Hepatitis B antiviral drugs currently in clinical trials are HBV entry inhibitors, HBV replication inhibitors, HBV nucleocapsid formation inhibitors, HBV secretion inhibitors
- Treatment developments for HIV including the use of dual therapy containing Dolutegravir+Lamivudine; long-acting Cabotegravir/Rilpivirine injections every 4-8 weeks; Lenacapavir injections every 6 weeks for patients who have multi class ARV resistance
- In addition, several drugs currently in clinical trials including Islatravir and Cabotegravir in implant and oral forms which have longer half-lives
- Several challenges are still faced for elimination in 2030 but opportunities including affordable medicines since some drugs are off patent and are available in generic form. In addition, the expansion of Hepatitis B prevention through vaccination in key population groups can considerably reduce the number of Hepatitis B burden.
The workshop participants are from: Cambodia, France, India, Indonesian, South Korea, Laos, Malaysian, Myanmar, The Netherlands, Philippines, Vietnamese, Thailand.
Facilitators and speakers for this workshop are:
- Giten Khwairakpam (Community and Policy Program Manager, TREAT Asia)
- Dr. Ajeet Singh Bhadoria (Associate Professor, Community and Family Medicine Nodal Officer- National Viral Hepatitis Control Program AIIMS Rishikesh, India)
- Dr. Anchalee Avihingsanon (HIV-NAT, the Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre)
- Dr. Nittaya Phanuphak (Executive Director, Institute of HIV Research and Innovation)
- Dr. Andrew Hill (Senior Visiting Research Fellow, University of Liverpool)