On Tuesday 15th October 2019, Gilead Sciences announced the recipients of its ‘COMMIT’ community grants program, providing funding to organizations delivering projects focused on the elimination of hepatitis C in Europe, Middle East and Australia (EMEA). A total of 19 organizations across 12 countries have been awarded a cumulative total of more than £1.5 million, supporting a variety of projects aimed at the micro-elimination of hepatitis C within specific populations or settings.

COMMIT is part of the global LEGA-C platform, “Local Elimination Programs Leading to Global Action in HCV”. The COMMIT program is designed to support non-profit organizations across EMEA working to tackle hepatitis C and striving to meet WHO targets.

The projects receiving funding range from mass screening and linkage-to-care initiatives in high-prevalence locations, to supporting the final efforts towards achieving localized elimination in cities such as Cascais, Melbourne and London. It is hoped that many of the programs funded can provide models for elimination that other cities and countries can follow.

“As we move to eliminate viral hepatitis by 2030, new and innovative approaches towards micro-elimination in specific population settings are crucial,” said Dr Michael Mertens, Senior Director, Medical Affairs at Gilead Sciences. “We know that vulnerable and marginalized groups in society are most at risk. Partnerships are vital if we are to eliminate this disease. The 19 organizations receiving COMMIT funding play an important role in helping to scale-up screening, diagnosis and linkage to care across EMEA.”

Table of recipients below:

 

Organization

Project Summary

Asociación Madrid Positivo

Improving access to care for vulnerable populations in Madrid, Spain through mobile testing, counseling and immediate referrals.

Asociatia Echitate in Sanatate

Screening campaign to distribute 15,000 free tests to the general population in Botosani County, Romania.

Associação Portuguesa para a Prevenção e Desafio à SIDA

Early detection initiative using monitoring software and increased clinical screening for prison populations in the Portuguese cities of Cascais and Oeiras, both Fast Track Cities.

Associazione EpaC Onlus

Local project in support of the Campania region’s elimination plan for hepatitis C through adequate screening and diagnostic therapeutic pathways.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Healthboard

Routine rapid testing and treatment of hepatitis C among the homeless population in Wrexham, UK with specialist pharmacists and harm reduction team.

Burnet Institute

Evaluating three peer-led models to improve HCV testing and treatment among people who inject drugs in Melbourne, Australia.

Centro Italiano di Solidarietà don Mario Picchi Onlus

Facilitating testing and linkage to care for people who use drugs in therapeutic communities in Lazio, Italy.

Chu de Montpellier

Pilot project in Montpellier, France incorporating hepatitis C self-test blotters into routine mammography exams for women aged 50-74.

Coordinadora Estatal de VIH y Sida (CESIDA)

Therapeutic Accompaniment program for HCV treatment in difficult-to-follow populations in the Valencia and Murcia regions of Spain.

Emek Medical Center

Test and treat project for people who inject drugs across three rehabilitation centers in northern Israel.

Fondazione Villa Maraini

Provision of innovative portable HCV testing devices by former drug users in out-of-hospital environments among people who use drugs in Italy.

Fundació Institut d'Investigació Germans Trias i Pujol (FIGTP)

Using self-sampling kits and online consultations to tackle HCV infection among the MSM community in Catalonia, Spain.

Fundatia Baylor Marea Neagra

Sustaining free of charge hepatitis testing for the general population in the high prevalence area of Dobrogea, Romania.

Hellenic Liver Patients Association "Prometheus"

Providing advanced diagnostics and medication delivery to drug users in Domokos and Kassandra prisons in Greece through the Access4All intervention program.

Hellenic Scientific Society for the Study of AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Using fast-track screening and peer-driven recruitment to identify and reach ‘hidden' populations in Athens, Greece.

Hepatitis Schweiz

 

 

Provision of comprehensive training program to those responsible for treating incarcerated infected individuals across 10 prisons in Switzerland.

Regional public organization AIDS, Statistics, Health

Raising awareness and providing testing and linkage to care for LGBTQ and former drug using populations in St Petersburg, Russia.

Romanian Association Against AIDS (ARAS)

Providing HCV awareness, screening and linkage to care for at least 1,000 people who inject drugs in Bucharest, Romania.

SANANIM z. ú.

Increasing testing and access to HCV treatment for people who inject drugs in Prague, Czech Republic.

000/IHQ/19-10//1990b Date of preparation: October 2019