Might is Hepatitis Awareness Month, once we concentrate on elevating consciousness of viral hepatitis whereas encouraging testing and vaccination. Hepatitis Consciousness Month actions assist to enhance everybody’s understanding of viral hepatitis transmission and danger elements and to lower social stigma in opposition to viral hepatitis.
Whereas we now have the instruments and a transparent roadmap to cease the unfold of viral hepatitis, we nonetheless must concentrate on elevating consciousness of the illness, how folks get it, how we will forestall it, and the way we will scale back social stigma. Our success is determined by lively participation in a strategic and coordinated response to make use of the instruments we now have to stop, and finally remove viral hepatitis as a public well being risk in the USA.
Each hepatitis A and hepatitis B are preventable with secure and efficient vaccines, and hepatitis C is curable with prescribed therapy. At the moment, there may be an estimated 862,000 and a couple of.4 million folks residing with hepatitis B and hepatitis C in the USA, respectively. But roughly two-thirds of individuals residing with hepatitis B and nearly half of individuals residing with hepatitis C, have no idea they’ve the virus. To extend the variety of folks which can be conscious of their standing, the CDC now recommends hepatitis B screening and testing for all adults aged 18 years and older not less than as soon as of their lifetime. CDC continues to suggest hepatitis C screening for all adults aged 18 years and older not less than as soon as of their lifetime.
The hepatitis B vaccine remains to be one of the best software we now have at stopping the brief and long-term results of hepatitis B virus, together with cirrhosis, liver most cancers and early demise. At the moment, solely an estimated 30% of adults in the USA are vaccinated in opposition to hepatitis B. To extend hepatitis B vaccination protection, the CDC now recommends hepatitis B vaccination for all adults ages 19-59 in addition to adults aged 60 years and older with or with out recognized dangers elements for hepatitis B.
Because the Assistant Secretary for Well being, making certain equitable approaches to rising entry to viral hepatitis testing, vaccination, and therapy, significantly for populations at increased danger of an infection, is a precedence for me. Eliminating limitations that will increase entry to get extra folks screened for hepatitis B and hepatitis C, in addition to vaccinated for hepatitis B.
This Might, throughout Hepatitis Awareness Month, I encourage you, to share info and implement the newly up to date screening, testing, and vaccination suggestions for hepatitis B and hepatitis C to extend entry to life-saving remedies.
Right here is how one can get entangled:
- All through the month of Might, assist unfold the phrase about viral hepatitis to your networks, utilizing CDC’s Hepatitis Consciousness Month social media toolkit.
- Might nineteenth is Hepatitis Testing Day, a day devoted to elevating consciousness of hepatitis B and hepatitis C, whereas encouraging everybody to study their standing. I urge healthcare suppliers to include screening and vaccination for hepatitis B and screening for hepatitis C into all clinical settings, together with hurt discount, behavioral well being, pharmacies, and HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STI) therapy services.
- Might thirtieth, at 1:00 pm-2:30 pm EST, be a part of me and consultants throughout the Division of Well being and Human Companies (HHS) for a webinar to study extra concerning the Federal Implementation of Updated Viral Hepatitis Screening and Vaccination Recommendations. This webinar will deliver collectively federal representatives from the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC), Facilities for Medicare & Medicaid Companies (CMS), Well being Assets and Companies Administration (HRSA), Indian Well being Service (IHS), and the Division of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Learn the Viral Hepatitis Nationwide Strategic Plan for the U.S.: A Roadmap to Elimination 2021-2025 to study concerning the imaginative and prescient we set ahead to reverse the charges of viral hepatitis, forestall new infections, enhance care and therapy and in the end remove viral hepatitis as a public well being risk in the USA. It’s also possible to learn the Viral Hepatitis Federal Implementation Plan to study concerning the insurance policies, analysis, and actions that my federal colleagues intend to place into follow to satisfy the targets of the nationwide plan.
All of us should work collectively to place these new suggestions into motion to assist forestall new viral hepatitis infections, which mixed with elevated testing, vaccination, and therapy, will transfer us nearer in direction of eliminating viral hepatitis in the USA.