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Hepatitis

Hepatitis

Hepatitis can be caused by many different things including viral infections, parasites, bacteria, chemicals, autoimmunity, drugs or alcohol. Of these, viral infection is the most common cause of chronic (long-term) hepatitis, which can lead to severe liver damage including cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Hepatitis B and C viruses (HBV and HCV) are among the world’s most common infectious pathogens. It is estimated that 500 million people – 1 in 12 of the global population – are chronically infected with one or both of these viruses.1,2  The majority of these people live in the developing world and many of them are unaware that they are infected. Chronically infected patients are at increased risk of developing cirrhosis, hepatic decompensation and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), which together account for more than 1 million deaths annually.3

The hepatitis B virus is a resilient virus present in all bodily fluids of infected individuals. It is resistant to breakdown and able to survive outside the body. It can be transmitted effectively through contact with infected bodily fluids in the same way as HIV. However, HBV is 50–100 times more infectious than HIV.

Screening for HBV and HCV infection is crucial, not only to detect patients who may require treatment to reduce the risk of progression to severe sequelae, but also to reduce transmission rates.

The primary objective of therapy for chronic HBV is to achieve control of viral replication and halt disease progression/improve liver histology. This will decrease pathogenicity and infectivity and thereby stop or reduce hepatic necroinflammation.

Chronic hepatitis C infection may result in severe liver damage leading to liver failure, HCC and death. As a consequence, therapeutic intervention can arrest, and perhaps even reverse, the disease before irreversible liver damage occurs. 

Enter the Hepatitis B and C Knowledge Centre


References

1. World Health Organization. World Health Organization Hepatitis B Fact Sheet. 1998.
2. World Hepatitis Alliance. www.aminumber12.org
3. Lai CL, Ratziu V, Yuen MF, Poynard T. Viral hepatitis B. Lancet 2003;362:2089–94

Men's Health

Men's Health

As a disease topic Men's Health covers a broad set of issues affecting men of all ages. Some of the issues requiring greater focus and more thorough dissemination of information amongst the healthcare community, are those that have the potential to go undetected in the early stages. Diseases where early detection and more regular health checks not only improve prognosis and efficacy of treatment outcomes, but also quality of life.

These include:

Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

Erectile dysfunction is characterized by the regular or repeated inability to obtain or maintain an erection. Although not considered a part of the aging process, it is associated with certain physiologic and psychological changes related to age. ED is most common in men between 40-70 years of age. However incidence is also higher amongst men with certain medical conditions which include, diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. ED can also be a warning sign/symptom of these underlying conditions. 1

Hypogonadism (low testosterone)

Testosterone is an essential male hormone produced in the testes that plays a crucial role in the health and well being of male bodies. It is responsible for typical male sexual characteristics and is required by all men for a healthy life physically and psychologically.

Low testosterone, clinically known as hypogonadism, consists of decreased functional activity of the testes with diminished production and action of testosterone.  Although there is a progressive decline in testosterone levels as men age, hypogonadism can occur in men of any age.

Men with low testosterone are also at increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and metabolic syndrome and osteoporosis.

For your information, the Mens Health knowledge centre concentrates on the understanding, management and treatment of erectile dysfunction and hypogonadism.  The website also provides extensive details on up-coming conferences as well as an extensive library of useful resource. You can also access the knowledge centre via www.menshealthfocus.com.

Enter the Men's Health Knowledge Centre


References

1. McVary, Kevin T. Erectile. In: Kasper DL, Braunwald E, Fauci AS, Hauser SL, Longo DL, Jameson JL et al., editors. Harrison's Internal Medicine. 16th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2005. p. 272-274

Clinical Case Studies

Cryptococcal Disease in HIV

Infection: HIV Infection

Neil D. Ritchie, Clinical Lecturer in Infectious Diseases, Medical Faculty, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK

Case History
A 43-year-old Zimbabwean woman presented with headache and meningism of several weeks' duration.

HIV Seroconversion

Infection: HIV Infection

Antonia Ho, Specialist Registrar in Infectious Diseases, Gartnavel General Hospital, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Glasgow, UK

Case History
A 29-year-old man was admitted with a week's history of general malaise accompanied by severe myalgia, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, headache, dry cough and swelling and redness of his eyes. He was a heavy drinker, and had fallen into the river Clyde two weeks previously while inebriated.

Medical Videos

The Risk Factors Associated With Sexually Transmitted Diseases
The Risk Factors Associated With Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Recent Drug Updates

Medical Journal Abstracts on Sexual Health

Expression Profiles of Antimicrobial Peptides in the Genital Tract of Women Using Progesterone Intrauterine Devices Versus Combined Oral Contraceptives

Sat 02 Aug 2014 -  American Journal of Reproductive Immunology

Problem:Sex hormones can influence the immune defenses of the female genital tract (FGT) and its susceptibility to infections. Here we investigated the effect of different hormonal contraceptives on ...

HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis in men who have sex with men and transgender women: a secondary analysis of a phase 3 randomised controlled efficacy trial

Fri 07 Mar 2014 -  The Lancet Infectious Diseases

Background:For maximum effect pre–exposure prophylaxis should be targeted to the subpopulations that account for the largest proportion of infections (population–attributable fraction ...

Medical Images

HIV-1 genome
HIV-1 genome
Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia
Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia
HIV envelope glycoprotein
HIV envelope glycoprotein
Key events leading up to the era of HAART
Key events leading up to the era of HAART
HIV-1 group M subtypes and CRFs
HIV-1 group M subtypes and CRFs
gp120 and the CCR5 co-receptor
 gp120 and the CCR5 co-receptor

Online CME

Antimicrobial-resistant gonorrhoea

This article discusses the recent problem of drug-resistant strains of gonorrhoea and how management methods have been adapted to combat this.

e-LfH eHIV-STI

eHIV-STI is an engaging and extensive e-learning programme supporting specialist training in Sexual Health & HIV. It has been developed by the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH)...

Chlamydia infection: diagnosis and management

After completing this module you should know: the symptoms of chlamydia infections, how to test for and treat chlamydia infections, and how to manage sexual contacts of people with chlamydia...

Clinical Trials

A Study of MK-8591 in Anti-Retroviral Therapy-Naive, Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 Infected Participants (MK-8591-003)

13-08-2014

This study will evaluate the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and anti-retroviral therapy (ART) activity of MK-8591 monotherapy in ART-naive, human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) infected participants. The primary hypothesis is that at a safe..

... and tolerable dose of MK-8591, the true mean difference in the plasma HIV-1 ribonucleic acid (RNA) reduction from baseline between MK-8591 and placebo is at least 0.5 log (base10) copies/mL.

Comparison of Two Combinations in Antiretroviral Post-Exposure Prophylaxis for HIV-1: Tenofovir/Emtricitabine (Truvada ®) + Lopinavir/Ritonavir (Kaletra ®) vs Tenofovir/Emtricitabine/Cobicistat/Elvitegravir (Stribild ®). Prospective, Randomized, Open. (STRIB-PEP)

22-07-2014

The main objective of this study is to compare the tolerability and adherence to a new drug regimen of post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for HIV,

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