September 21, 2023

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 threat elements and to lower social stigma towards 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 individuals get it, how we will stop it, and the way we will scale back social stigma. Our success depends upon lively participation in a strategic and coordinated response to make use of the instruments we now have to stop, and ultimately eradicate viral hepatitis as a public well being risk in america.

Each hepatitis A and hepatitis B are preventable with secure and efficient vaccines, and hepatitis C is curable with prescribed therapy. At present, there may be an estimated 862,000 and a couple of.4 million individuals dwelling with hepatitis B and hepatitis C in america, respectively. But roughly two-thirds of individuals dwelling with hepatitis B and virtually half of individuals dwelling with hepatitis C, have no idea they’ve the virus. To extend the variety of individuals which might be conscious of their standing, the CDC now recommends hepatitis B screening and testing for all adults aged 18 years and older a minimum of as soon as of their lifetime. CDC continues to advocate hepatitis C screening for all adults aged 18 years and older a minimum of as soon as of their lifetime.

The hepatitis B vaccine remains to be the very best instrument we now have at stopping the quick and long-term results of hepatitis B virus, together with cirrhosis, liver most cancers and early loss of life. At present, solely an estimated 30% of adults in america are vaccinated towards 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, guaranteeing equitable approaches to rising entry to viral hepatitis testing, vaccination, and therapy, notably for populations at larger threat of an infection, is a precedence for me. Eliminating limitations that will increase entry to get extra individuals 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 data 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 become involved:

  • 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 amenities.
  • Might thirtieth, at 1:00 pm-2:30 pm EST, be 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, stop new infections, enhance care and therapy and in the end eradicate viral hepatitis as a public well being risk in america. You may as well learn  the Viral Hepatitis Federal Implementation Plan to study concerning the insurance policies, analysis, and actions that my federal colleagues intend to place into apply to fulfill the objectives of the nationwide plan.

All of us should work collectively to place these new suggestions into motion to assist stop new viral hepatitis infections, which mixed with elevated testing, vaccination, and therapy, will transfer us nearer in direction of eliminating viral hepatitis in america.