We write for two reasons, to update you on our progress in developing and releasing the National Viral Hepatitis Action Plan for 2017 – 2020 and to ask for you to help us raise awareness of the HHS.gov/hepatitis website.
As you may recall, last April our federal partners met and agreed to develop an updated National Viral Hepatitis Action Plan (NVHAP). Since that time, we have worked with the 23 federal partners that compose the Viral Hepatitis Implementation Group. We have also worked diligently to capture key issues identified by our nonfederal partners. Although the process has been time intensive, the result will be an evidence-based, responsive road map for the nation to combat hepatitis B and hepatitis C for 2017 – 2020. The new NVHAP will identify measurable, aspirational 2020 goals and annual targets that will need to be met or exceeded if we are to achieve our goals.
Finalizing the Action Plan and preparing it for release has taken longer than anticipated. It is now in clearance and we hope to release the document in early 2017. We’ll follow up with you when a release date is established.
Last May, on National Hepatitis Testing Day, HHS launched our new viral hepatitis website, http://www.hhs.gov/hepatitis/. We write to ask for your help to raise awareness about these viral hepatitis pages by linking to them on your webpages. These dedicated viral hepatitis pages include resources such as:
· The Viral Hepatitis Action Plan and information about the federal agencies involved in its implementation and progress in achieving its goals
· Links to federal policies and guidelines that help advance our work to achieve national viral hepatitis goals
· The latest blog posts from HHS and community leaders on key viral hepatitis topics.
· Facts, data, tools, and training that individuals and community partners can use to help win the battle against viral hepatitis
· Online federal tools for assessing hepatitis risk and locating viral hepatitis testing and vaccine providers
The new HHS web pages provide easy access to viral hepatitis resources from across the federal government. The Viral Hepatitis Action Plan recognizes that achieving its goals will require active involvement of and by a broad mix of stakeholders from various sectors, including federal, state and local; both public and private. We are committed to continuing to expand the site and have plans for doing so in 2017. That is why we are asking you to help to raise awareness about these viral hepatitis pages and resources by placing a link to them on your webpages.
We’re also now on Twitter at: @HHS_ViralHep. Please join the viral hepatitis conversation online by following us. We share updated website content, upcoming Twitter chats, and other current opportunities to join efforts to implement the Viral Hepatitis Action Plan and to learn more about what others are doing in communities across the country.
Please check out this new resource in our fight against viral hepatitis and help us spread the word about the Viral Hepatitis Action Plan and advances in our national efforts to your communities.
Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health
Department of Health and Human Services
Viral Hepatitis Policy Advisor