Integrating Hepatitis B and HIV PrEP Services Makes Sense

National proposals to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria may be missing an opportunity to address hepatitis B (HBV) infection as well as HIV among key populations such as men who have sex with men, transgender individuals, people who inject drugs, and their partners.

Giten Khwairakpam
Giten Khwairakpam, TREAT Asia Program Manager, Community and Policy, amfAR

In its 2023-25 funding framework, the Global Fund is accepting proposals that include key population-related services targeting HBV. Yet, while PrEP services for HIV prevention have been included in applications to the Fund, and already budgeted for by PEPFAR, it is not clear if HBV services have been packaged with these interventions. If HBV services such as screening, viral load testing, and preventive vaccine delivery have not been included, then they should be—especially in the Asia-Pacific, where there are over 176 million people living with chronic HBV infection.

That’s the message of a new Correspondence in The Lancet Gastroenterology and Hepatology by Giten Khwairakpam, program manager, community and policy, of amfAR’s TREAT Asia program, and co-authors Jessica Hicks of the World Hepatitis Alliance and Capucine Pénicaud of The Hepatitis Fund.

“Preventing HIV and hepatitis B go hand in hand, especially among key populations,” says Khwairakpam. “Integrating HIV interventions like PrEP with HBV services in the context of the Global Fund makes economic and public health sense, and would go a long way to combatting both of these deadly global health threats.”

Read the Correspondence here.

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