Key takeaways from INHSU presentations at the World Hepatitis Summit

INHSU presented at the World Hepatitis Summit in Lisbon last month, highlighting updates from our diverse education, advocacy, and prisons related initiatives. Here, we share key takeaways from those sessions. 

Under the overarching theme of “Integrate, Accelerate, Eliminate,” the Summit advocated for the seamless integration of hepatitis into broader health systems, accelerating momentum through community-driven services, and widening access to testing and treatment.

We extend our appreciation to the organisers for orchestrating such an important event, driving us closer to the collective goal of viral hepatitis elimination.


Training Program to Enhance Implementation or Scale-Up of Interventions for the Management of Hepatitis C

INHSU’s Program Manager, Olivia Dawson, presented our Hepatitis C Intervention Symposia and Toolkit. Since its launch, the toolkit how-to-guides have been viewed 12,500 times with supporting infographics, stories and films viewed 26,100 times. It is available free to access and works as a standalone learning resource. The Symposia series thus far, based on the evidence from the toolkit, has educated approximately 400 people across nine workshops in three countries.

Following the Symposium in Kansas City, Missouri, the symposium presenters were inspired by the participants’ collective enthusiasm and wanted to expand their coordination of local efforts. ​

  • They have since created a Kansas City Hepatitis C Elimination Task Force​
  • The focus is on expanding HCV testing, linkage to care, treatment and cure, working with the Local Health Department who are assisting in the coordination​
  • The task force has also led to a wider collaboration with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS)
  • Thus far, the task force, which includes partners from the KCMO HD, local FQHCs, and substance use disorder recovery centres, has held two stakeholder meetings

Representing INHSU at the World Hepatitis Summit was a fantastic opportunity to spread the word about our programs, interact with peers and colleagues, and learn about some of the incredible viral hepatitis elimination initiatives happening globally. The importance of re-invigorating our response to viral hepatitis was central to the Summit and how person-centred responses should be at the heart of all efforts to eliminate viral hepatitis. We are looking forward to the next Summit in 2026 in Bangkok!

Olivia Dawson, INHSU Program Manager

Building the Storytelling Capacity of People Who Use Drugs​

INHSU Program Manager Olivia Dawson also presented on the power of storytelling for advocacy, using a case study of our successful pilot project in Kenya and South Africa, where we worked with local storytelling consultants to create a 1-2-1 mentor program for people who use drugs, boosting their confidence, storytelling capacity and networking skills. 

Results of the program included:

  • Three participants in South Africa and 6=six participants in Kenya received tailored storytelling training and mentorship ​
  • Increase in storytelling understanding and confidence for all participants ​
  • All participants recorded at least one story that can now be used in advocacy ​
  • Increased networking, technology, and communication skills ​
  • Four participants have spoken at sector events


Understanding global hepatitis C advocacy needs to inform the development of a Prisons Advocacy Toolkit

Carceral settings are a key focus of the 2030 WHO global hepatitis C virus (HCV) elimination goals. Despite this, access to HCV testing and treatment services in prisons remains low globally, limiting opportunities to achieve these goals. Advocacy efforts are needed to address service inequities and mobilise support for enhanced HCV programs in prisons globally.

INHSU Prisons is currently developing a Prisons HCV Advocacy Toolkit to address this need. Dr Matthew Akiyama, Albert Einstein College of Medicine / Montefiore Medical Centre, New York, USA and Vice Chair of INHSU Prisons, presented on the progress of this toolkit. Findings so far have now been published in the International Journal of Drug Policy. 


Accelerating hepatitis C elimination: Why are prisons essential?

Finally, INHSU Prisons organised a session chaired by Erika Duffell, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) which explored models of care and latest research into hepatitis C elimination in prisons. 

Dr Matthew Akiyama discussed models of care to promote HCV elimination focused on testing, treatment, and linkage to care. He emphasised the availability of evidence to promote these models but the strong need for political will to implement them.

Dr Nadine Kronfli, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada and INHSU Prisons Vice Chair gave an overview on access to both prison needle and syringe programs and opioid agonist therapy in prisons globally and advocated for increased transparency vis-à-vis performance indicators and implementation challenges and successes.

Meanwhile, Julia Sheehan, National Women’s Criminal Justice Manager at The Hepatitis C Trust and INHSU Prisons Vice-Chair discussed the integral integration of peers in HCV prison elimination programs.

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