INHSU was established by a group of researchers, health care providers, and advocates with a shared vision; to amplify the research and clinical advances in hepatitis C prevention, treatment and care for people who use drugs.
Formed in 2009 in Switzerland, over the next decade INHSU witnessed – and participated in – huge advances in the treatment options for hepatitis C, including a cure for more than 95 per cent of people who are treated.
In the last decade, we have built a global community committed to improving the health of people who use drugs and connecting them to treatment and care.
We are now recognised as a leader in the global exchange of knowledge, education, and advocacy to support better health for people who use drugs.
In 2015, INHSU began a partnership with the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM). This partnership with ASHM provides cost-effective access to ongoing support including operational and organisational services, conference support and education services.
As we enter the second decade of our organisation, we see major opportunities to leverage our learnings and engagement around hepatitis C treatment and apply them to improving the health care of people who use drugs more broadly.
As well as improving health, we will continue our work to remove stigma and discrimination. We will continue to grow our network globally, ensuring broader representation from people who use drugs and from those who come from diverse backgrounds, including a key focus on low- and middle-income countries.
Our history in detail
Based in Switzerland, INHSU was conceptualised by Philip Bruggmann, Markus Backmund and Geert Robaeys who organised the first INHSU conference in Zurich.
2011 – 2015
The next three INHSU conferences were held biannually in Brussels, Belgium, in 2011, Munich, Germany, in 2013 and Sydney, Australia, in 2015.
In 2015, INHSU began a partnership with the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM).
The Board of Directors was broadened to include representation from Australia, North America and other areas of Europe.
Alongside the conference, INHSU established strategic goals and instituted membership, allowing the wider community working in or affected by hepatitis C and drug use to help shape the organisation.
INHSU moved to an annual conference to keep pace with the rapid development of new therapies and the 2016 conference was held in Oslo, Norway
2017 – 2019
In 2017, INHSU developed a hepatitis C education program for healthcare providers, now available in 10 countries.
Meanwhile, the 2017 conference was held in Jersey City, United States, the 2018 conference in Cascais, Portugal and the 2019 conference in Montreal, Canada.
INHSU membership grew to nearly 900 people from 51 countries. INHSU launched its first special interest group The International Network on Hepatitis in Substance Users – Prisons Network (INHSU Prisons).
The first regional conference was held in Cape Town, South Africa (INHSU Africa). Almost 200 delegates from 10 countries in Africa as well as attendees from
global partners attended.
A new strategy was launched for INHSU, broadening the organisation from hepatitis C to improving the health care of people who use drugs more broadly