CLDF Title
Home | Contact Us | Bookmark
  HBV   HCC   HCV   HE   HEPATORENAL SYNDROME   NASH   PBC   THROMBOCYTOPENIA
Centers of Educational Expertise  
Live CME Meetings Webcasts Slide Library Abstract Library Conference Highlights
 
Back  
 
Reuters Health Information: Sunday is 'Hepatitis Testing Day'

Sunday is 'Hepatitis Testing Day'

Last Updated: 2019-05-17

By Carolyn Crist

(Reuters Health) - Millions of people in the U.S. have chronic viral hepatitis, most without knowing it, so the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other groups have designated May as Hepatitis Awareness Month and May 19 as Hepatitis Testing Day.

"Hepatitis is a silent killer. When you get infected, you often don't have severe symptoms that make you go to the doctor," said Dr. John Ward, director of the Coalition for Global Hepatitis Elimination at the Task Force for Global Health in Decatur, Georgia.

"Hepatitis B and C can become chronic infections and cause liver damage over time, which can lead to liver cancer," Ward, who is also a senior scientist at the CDC, said in a phone interview. "It's important for people to be tested so infections can be caught early before they become a problem."

Hepatitis B and C are the most common types of viral hepatitis in the U.S., according to the CDC's announcement, published May 10 in the agency's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). In 2016, about 862,000 people were living with hepatitis B and 2.4 million were living with hepatitis C, despite the availability of a vaccine and treatment for hepatitis B and a cure for hepatitis C.

New cases of hepatitis C tripled during 2010-2016, mostly among young adults, largely attributed to surges in the opioid epidemic and injection-drug use. It can also be spread through exposure to blood in healthcare settings, particularly through blood transfusions given before 1992, and occasionally through sexual contact.

"All Baby Boomers should be tested since they're at a high risk for unscreened blood before 1992," Ward said. "But the new threat has also been for young people involved in the opioid crisis with injection use."

The other form of the disease, caused by the hepatitis A virus, doesn't have a treatment but is preventable through vaccination. Several states have had outbreaks since 2016 with a large number of cases caused by person-to-person transmission, primarily among those who use drugs or experience homelessness, the announcement notes.

To increase awareness, the CDC is encouraging the public and doctors to "Learn the ABCs" of viral hepatitis, and offering resources and links to find a testing facility nearby (https://bit.ly/2osb65W).

If unsure about what to do next, individuals can also take a five-minute online assessment (https://bit.ly/2imA3Ih) to receive a personalized report on hepatitis testing and vaccine recommendations. The assessment is anonymous and asks questions about a history of blood disease, liver disease, sexually transmitted infections, HIV/AIDs, injection drug use, blood transfusions and overseas travel.

Chronic hepatitis is a leading cause of liver cancer and cirrhosis, with more than 60 percent of liver cancer cases related to hepatitis B or C, the CDC resources highlight.

"Chronic HBV and HCV infections already kill as many people worldwide as HIV, malaria and tuberculosis," said Dr. David Thomas, director of the division of infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, who isn't involved in the CDC awareness campaign.

By 2040, hepatitis deaths are expected to exceed the combined mortality of HIV, malaria and tuberculosis because there are global programs to eliminate those diseases, he added.

"Get tested. The tests are accurate and can identify a condition that is treatable," he told Reuters Health by email. "Being cured can save your life and the lives of those around you."

SOURCE: https://bit.ly/2Q3Fe2f

MMWR 2019.

 
 
 
 
                               
 
HBV
Webcasts
Slide Library
Abstract Library
 
HCC
Slide Library
Abstract Library
 
 
HCV
Webcasts
Slide Library
Abstract Library
 
 
HE
Webcasts
Slide Library
Abstract Library
Hepatorenal Syndrome
Webcasts
Slide Library
Abstract Library
 
NASH
Webcasts
Slide Library
Abstract Library
 
 
PBC
Webcasts
Slide Library
Abstract Library
 
 
OTHER
Webcasts
Slide Library
   
   
 
About CLDF
Mission Statement
Board of Trustees
Board of Advisors/Faculty
CLDF Sponsors & Supporters
 
Other Resources
Liver News Library
Journal Abstracts
Hep C Link to Care
 
Centers of
Educational Expertise
Hepatology
Substance Use Disorder
             
CLDF Follow Us
   
  The Chronic Liver Disease Foundation is a non-profit organization with content developed specifically for healthcare professionals.
© Copyright 2012-2019 Chronic Liver Disease Foundation. All rights reserved. This site is maintained as an educational resource for US healthcare providers only.
Use of this Web site is governed by the Chronic Liver Disease Foundation terms of use and privacy statement.