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The epidemiology of HIV-1, HCV and HBV in the Baltic region – Stockholm’s minisymposium

The epidemiology of HIV-1, HCV and HBV in the Baltic region – Stockholm’s minisymposium

Publish date: 2015-03-30

Members and invited guests of Baltic Network against life-threatening viral infections (BAN) have been discussing the burning issues of viral infections during the two-day minisymposium held at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. Enlightening presentations followed by questions, round-table discussions and mini poster session have all given a great opportunity for networking and integration of the Network members.

Tags: HIV , epidemiology , Baltic region , symposium , symposium , HCV , Stockholm

The first day of the minisymposium was dedicated to the topics of epidemiology of viral hepatitis and molecular epidemiology. During the invited lecture given by Anders Kärnell, a representative of Swedish pharmaceutical company Medivir, participants were acknowledged with a “pharma point of view” on the issues concerning HCV. The risk of investing in the new drugs market and their short life span were especially stressed.

Camilla Wristel from the Swedish Institute explained the funding possibilities for the members of the Baltic Sea Unit and new financial rules concerning projects. What was remarked was that activities such as BAN have to be retained, especially during the current unsure political situation in Eastern Europe. - If that is broken up, this is a big step back – said prof. Anders Widell from Lund University.

Participants of the minisymposium especially appreciated an interesting presentation concerning the HIV epidemiology in Ethiopia. This implicates that not only the topic of viral treatment is something one should discuss, but also the epidemic and demographic history. - People working in this field, but in different geographical regions are now put together, which means that we can solve some problems that are very actual for many countries. – commented Tatjana Kolupajeva from East University Hospital in Riga.

During the second day of the minisymposium, the HIV has been in the spotlight. Drug resistance and different genotypes of this virus were the leading discussion topics. The main conclusion was that clinicians and researchers should collaborate in the fight against this viral infection. Additionally, members of the second and final round-table discussion decided to commence a project concerning the current epidemic situation of hepatitis C. - We had new partners here, and now we understand what they are doing and we hope we can launch this cooperation – commented prof. Patrik Medstrand from Lund University.