viral hepatitis

HHS: Viral Hepatitis Action Plan Updates & Request for Support

Dear Colleagues,
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 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, 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.

Rich Wolitski
Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health
Department of Health and Human Services
Corinna Dan
Viral Hepatitis Policy Advisor

May 19th is National Hepatitis Testing Day!


FREE Hepatitis C testing across Colorado in honor of National Hepatitis Testing Day!

More than 4 million Americans have been infected with Hepatitis C.  More than 75% were born between 1945 and 1965.  Half don’t realize they were exposed because they haven’t been tested.

Help us change that – if you’ve never been tested for Hepatitis C before, take charge of your health on National Hepatitis Testing Day!  Testing will be available at 15 locations around Colorado on Tuesday, May 19th, 2015.  No appointments required.  Just walk in, get tested with a quick fingerstick, and get your results in 20 minutes!

Hep C Connection and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment are teaming up with nine other organizations to offer this free service, including Colorado’s regional AIDS service organizations and local county health departments.

Want to locate a testing site near you for May 19th?  Refer to the chart below:

City Location / Testing Organization Address Timeframe
Boulder Boulder County AIDS Project 2118 14th St 10AM – 5PM
Boulder Boulder County Public Health 3482 Broadway 8AM – 4PM
Denver Webb Municipal Building / Hep C Connection 201 W Colfax Ave 9AM – 3PM
Denver Scales’ Pharmacy / Hey Denver 1999 Pennsylvania St 3PM – 8PM
Denver Avella Specialty Pharmacy / Denver Colorado AIDS Project 1245 E Colfax Ave, Suite 102 10AM – 3PM
Denver Tri-County Health Department North Broadway Office 7000 N Broadway,

Suite 400

9AM – 12PM
Fort Collins Sister Mary Alice Murphy Center for Hope / Northern Colorado AIDS Project 242 Conifer St 8:30AM – 11:30AM
Grand Junction Grand Valley Catholic Outreach / Western Colorado AIDS Project 245 S 1st St 8AM – 11AM
Grand Junction Western Colorado AIDS Project 805 Main St 11AM – 5PM
Longmont Boulder County Public Health 529 Coffman St, #200 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Northglenn Tri-County Health Department Northglenn Office 10190 Bannock St, Suite 100 3PM – 5:30 PM
Pueblo Senior Resource Development Authority / Hep C Connection & Southern Colorado AIDS Project 230 N Union Ave 1PM – 5PM
Pueblo Pueblo City-County Health Department 101 W 9th St 1PM – 4PM


Testing will also be offered at the Aurora Central Library (14949 E Alameda Parkway) on the previous day (May 18th) by Tri-County Health Department from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM.

PrEP Users’ Sexually Acquired Hep C Suggests Need for Routine Testing

Evidence of sexual acquisition of hepatitis C virus (HCV) among men who have sex with men (MSM) receiving pre-exposure prophylaxis through a San Francisco clinic has prompted a call for routine monitoring for the virus among PrEP users. In a letter to the editor in Clinical Infectious Diseases, clinicians from Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center describe new cases of hep C among two men out of 485 HIV-negative MSM receiving PrEP at the clinic between February 2011 and December 2014.

Read the full report from  

Take a Hep C selfie…our blogger did!

Becoming part of this growing movement is simple: take a photo of yourself, forming a C with your hand and share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #selfieHepatiteC. Over 2.5 million #selfieHepatiteC photos have already been posted to help fight stigma and encourage people to get tested. From patients and their families to the general public and celebrities, the movement that started in Brazil now needs your support to become a global campaign!


Door-to-door campaign linked hepatitis C patients to care

Working on the streets in medically underserved Philadelphia neighborhoods, members of the Do One Thing program have been able to identify residents chronically infected with hepatitis C and help them overcome the hurdles that prevent people from being cured, according to a new study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.  Read on….

This post was shared from Caring Ambassadors, Inc.

Pregnant Women With Hep C Have 6% Chance of Passing the Virus to Their Babies

(reposted from

Pregnant women with hepatitis C virus (HCV) have an estimated 5.8 percent risk of transmitting the virus to their unborn child, a risk that more than doubles if they are coinfected with HIV. Publishing their findings in Clinical Infectious Diseases, researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 109 studies to make their estimates about the risk of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT).

The mother’s 5.8 percent chance of transmitting the virus to her baby rises to 10.8 percent if she is HIV-positive. HIV itself raises the risk 2.56-fold, more so than any other determinant of risk.

The scientists stated that more research is needed into other ways that children who are at risk of MTCT may be put at risk for contracting hep C during early childhood.

To read the study, click here.

Baby Boomers! Know More Hepatitis!

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have just released the next phase of the national Know More Hepatitis campaign.  Of the estimated 3.2 million Americans who have Hepatitis C, 3 in 4 are people born from 1945 to 1965.  Since as many as 50% of people with Hepatitis C don’t know they are infected, the campaign encourages everyone born from 1945-1965 to get tested for the virus.

The campaign is being implemeneted using a variety of multimedia channels: print, radio, and TV PSAs, as well as airport dioramas, billboards, and transit advertisements.  CDC also developed materials to support educational efforts at the local level, including posters, fact sheets, infographics, and more.

You can view the new Know More Hepatitis PSA on YouTube and an infographic from the campaign below.


Local television report on Hepatitis C in Mesa County, Colorado

Mesa County is a region in Colorado that is adversely affected by hepatitis C.  Western Colorado AIDS Project reports that, of the many state-funded HCV testing sites, theirs exhibits an extremely high positivity rate for the virus.  While the advent of new and better treatments for hepatitis C has demonstrated cure rates in the 90th percentile, many individuals without health insurance or on Medicaid still don’t qualify based on criteria that looks at history of illicit drug use and disease progression as primary factors.

For the full story and a video report on Mesa County and Western Colorado AIDS Project’s work in the communities there, click here.

Patient Advocate Foundation Launches New Care Line for Hepatitis C Patients

Our friends over at the Patient Advocate Foundation have recently launched a new toll-free care line for people living with hepatitis C.  Case managers on the hotline focus on helping individuals access financial assistance to offset the cost of treatment.

The current reality of hepatitis C is that, while many individuals may be fully aware of their status, a good portion either can’t afford or don’t know how to go about qualifying for treatment.  With the newest hepatitis C medications on the market providing cure rates for certain genotypes in the 95th percentile and above, the need for proactive care and treatment at affordable costs is more important now than ever before.

Individuals living with a chronic infection of hepatitis C can receive case management services via the Patient Advocate Foundation’s Care Line free-of-charge.  The number to call is 1-800-532-5274,  You can also visit their website here.

If you have questions after reading this article, please call our helpline at 1-800-522-HEPC (4372).

Introducing…Friday’s Fact v. Fiction!

Ever wonder what the real deal is on that herbal supplement reputed to reduce the effects of Hepatitis C?  Or what the true story of why the baby boomer generation is more at risk for infections like viral hepatitis?  Or why people who use illicit drugs are less likely to access health care?

Wonder no longer! Introducing StepUpToHep’s weekly myth-buster, Friday’s Fact v. Fiction!

For our inaugural Friday post, we focus on the facts about Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B vaccinations.

“I’m good.  I’m pretty sure I got all of those shots when I was a kid.”

StepUp says: That might be true, but unless you can verify the following via your medical records, you might still need follow-up doses to be completely vaccinated against Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B:

* 2 doses of Hepatitis A vaccine

* 3 doses of Hepatitis B vaccine


* 3 doses of combined Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B vaccine (called TWINRIX)

“I don’t want to get the vaccine because I’m afraid it will infect me with a virus.”

StepUp says: The vaccines for Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B will not infect you with either of those viruses.  Contrary to popular thought, these vaccines do not contain live, active virus; rather, they contain killed or inactivated virus designed to generate an immune response.  The bottom line? People who have been fully vaccinated aren’t at risk.

“I waited too long to get my next dose.  I don’t want to have to start all over with the first shot again.”

StepUp says: Most of the time, you don’t need to start over if you missed your return appointment for your next dose, and when you finally do get follow-up doses, your vaccine series will still be considered complete. Getting second or third doses too early is more detrimental to the vaccine’s effectiveness.  If it is recommended for you to start a vaccine series over from the beginning, it is not harmful for you to receive the same dose twice. For more information on vaccine schedules, visit CDC’s Hepatitis Vaccinations Hub.

“There’s a vaccine for Hepatitis C.”

StepUp says: Unfortunately, there isn’t.  But for people living with a Hepatitis C infection, it is important to get Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B vaccinations.  Co-infection with different types of hepatitis can cause increased damage to the liver and can complicate treatment options.

For more information on Hepatitis A, B, and C, check out the ABCs of Hepatitis.

If you’re a parent and have questions about vaccinations for your child, check out’s article, “10 Vaccine Myths – Busted.”

Join us next Friday for more Fact v. Fiction!

If you have questions after reading this article, please call our helpline at 1-800-522-HEPC (4372).