THE DEPARTMENT of Virology, PGIMER, Chandigarh, conducted the pre-conference national hands-on-workshop on viral load testing of Hepatitis B and C viruses on Saturday.
It was attended by participants from different parts of the country and also from Bangladesh. This was carried out as a part of capacity-building of labs for viral load testing which is mandatory for treatment initiation of Hepatitis B and C.
Professor R K Ratho, head, virology, in his key note address, welcomed delegates and stressed the importance of viral load testing for various viral infections, including viral hepatitis.
Professor Mini P Singh, organising secretary, INTERVIROCON-2018, emphasized that chronic hepatitis due to Hepatitis B and C viruses is a major public health challenge affecting 325 million people globally. “These infections are transmitted by the same route as HIV and may be asymptomatic for long periods which may range from days to decades,” said a doctor.
“For Hepatitis B, preventive vaccine is available but for Hepatitis C there is no commercial vaccine available. Recently, treatment of Hepatitis C has advanced with the availability of cost-effective directly acting antivirals. The timely viral load testing is important to diagnose these infections and to monitor the course of treatment, keeping in mind the global theme of the World Hepatitis Day for the year 2018, ‘Test Treat Hepatitis’,” a release by PGI said.