Dr Anchalee Avihingsanon
This project is designed to increase the screening, monitoring and treatment of HCV affected groups who have difficulty attaining services and treatment.
Partnering Australian Institution: University of New South Wales
Project Title: Test and Treat Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Hepatis C Virus (HCV) in high risk population: The HCV-Free study
To increase the screening, monitoring and treatment of HCV affected groups who have difficulty attaining services and treatment together with marginalised populations that include include HIV co-infection, men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, and prisoners. To date these population groups have been largely ignored in linkage and treatment programs in Thailand. We plan to evaluate a Point of Care (POC) test for HCV RNA detection that is cheap, effective and easy to use.
Reasons for applying for fellowship:
In Thailand, the field of HCV has been stagnant. The Kirby Institute has been very successful with HCV TasP. I would like to learn from them as much as possible. This will not only solidify our relationship but also provide additional opportunities to apply the technique to other diseases. The Knowledge and skills obtained from this opportunity will be modified and adjusted to be used in Thailand according to our needs. The international research will give me an opportunity to have future collaboration with the Australian team for research work, grant writing and manuscript writing.
I am sure that this experience will shape my understanding on hepatitis and also increase my confidence to take care of my patients, and to teach other health care personnel In addition, this knowledge and collaboration will help me to strengthen the HCV treatment program in Thailand.
Anchalee has more than 10 years of experience working in the field of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and viral hepatitis research. She has been described by peers as "one of the Asia-Pacific regions high achieving female researchers With an immense amount of dedication and commitment". She has published 65 research papers and co-investigated on more than 50 grants. She currently leads the clinical research program at HIV Netherlands, Australia, Thailand (NAT} research organisation in Bangkok.
For the past few years, she has been on the writing committee for the HIV and Hepatitis Treatment Guidelines for Thailand. Her work has previously influenced the National and International Hepatitis Co-infection Treatment Guidelines. In 2014, after a process of arduous and time consuming consultation she was able to prove the need for the Thai government to include HCV treatment and tests in the National HIV Program. This has had a major impact on patient treatment and care.
Anchalee is also a member of the Hepatitis Transformative Science Group in the National Institute of Health's (NIH} Aids Clinical Trailing Group (ACTG). In this network she is one of three researchers from international ACTG sites (Thailand, India, Brazil}, leading the way for HCV research in resource limited settings. This is the first time that the ACTG hepatitis group has focused on an international HCV agenda.
Anchalee is currently working With the National Science and Technology Development Agency
(NSTDA}, Thai Liver Society, National Health Security Office and Health Intervention and Technology Assessment Program (HITAP) to scale up HCV screening and monitoring procedures in Thailand With the aim of eradicating HCV utilising the strategy of 'Treatment as Prevention' (TasP}.
Anchalee has a PhD in HIV and Coinfection from Amsterdam University, the Netherlands, and a Master's Degree in Medicine from the Khon Kean University, Thailand. She has also completed studies in the United States on infectious disease.
Anchalee has attended international conferences in Spain and published a large range of international research pieces. She has also received several research scholarships and awards including 'Best Doctor Honour' from Samutsakorn Provincial Hospital.