Hepatitis Awareness Month

ISSUE NUMBER  Thirty-Five• May 2017

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Hepatitis Awareness Month

The month of May is Hepatitis Awareness Month, and May 19th is Hepatitis Testing Day. This is an opportunity for organizations to promote and help raise awareness about the seriousness of viral hepatitis.

More than 7,000 cases of viral hepatitis were reported in Indiana in 2015, and the number of reported acute hepatitis C cases has risen by 400 percent since 2010. Yet nearly three-fourths of people who have the disease are unaware of their infection and are not receiving treatment, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

To further raise awareness and promote testing during May, please consider participating in & supporting the Be #HepAware Thunderclap on May 19th at 12:00 p.m. EDT/9:00 a.m. PDT.  Visit the CDC website for further details and resources.



Viral Hepatitis Public Service Announcement

As part of Hepatitis Awareness Month, State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams has taped a brief public service announcement to help bring attention to the rising toll this disease is taking on Indiana. You can find the PSA at this link: https://youtu.be/WSLmz_selyA.

We encourage you to share Dr. Adams’ message through social media channels and your websites as we all work to reduce the burden that hepatitis places on Hoosiers.  For any questions, concerns, or comments please contact Deborah Nichols, STD and Viral Epidemiology Supervisor, at 317-234-9627 or denichols@isdh.in.gov or Sherika Sides, at 317-234-9708 or SSides@isdh.IN.gov.


2015 Hepatitis C Epidemiologic Profile

The Indiana Hepatitis C Epidemiologic profile for 2015 was released on May 1st, 2017 as a Kickoff for Viral Hepatitis Awareness Month taking place through the month of May. This profile was created as a response to the growing amount of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) cases and the need to use and disseminate the data for public health efforts around the state. Topics of interest in the profile include general sociodemographic characteristics, the state of HCV in Indiana (including the Scott County HIV/HCV Outbreak), mortality, hospitalizations, special projects currently taking place in Indiana, and special populations including baby boomers, 18-29 year olds, and incarcerated individuals. Link to the profile: http://www.in.gov/isdh/files/2015%20Hepatitis%20Epidemiologic%20Profile%20FINAL.pdf


Indiana Health Data Easily Accessible

Local health officials and residents can now assess the health of their counties through Stats Explorer, a new web-based one-stop shop for public health data in Indiana.

Visitors to the Stats Explorer website can find information about the prevalence of drug overdoses, sexually transmitted diseases, births and deaths, cancer, infectious diseases and many other health issues, all in one convenient location. Previously, the data were available through multiple pages on the ISDH website.

Diseases and conditions provided in Stats Explorer can be viewed as counts or rates for various time periods. Data can be displayed in a variety of formats, including charts and maps, with the click of a button. 

To use Stats Explorer, go to https://gis.in.gov/apps/isdh/statsexplorer. From the drop-down menu, select one of many different public health categories to find detailed data published by ISDH and other partners.


CDC Preliminary Data Released

On May 11, 2017, the CDC released new preliminary viral hepatitis surveillance data showing that from 2010-2015 the number of new hepatitis C infections reported to CDC nearly tripled, reaching a 15-year high.

The greatest increase occurred among young people, ages 20-29, with the primary route of transmission being injection drug use. The majority of the 3.5 million Americans already living with hepatitis C are baby boomers, who are six times more likely to be infected with hepatitis C than those in other age groups and are at much greater risk for death from the virus.

Hepatitis C kills more Americans than any other infectious disease reported to CDC. The 2015 data indicates that nearly 20,000 Americans died from hepatitis C related causes, the majority aged 55 and older.


Press ReleaseNew Hepatitis C Infections Nearly Tripled over Five Years

Full ReportSurveillance for Viral Hepatitis – United States, 2015

MMWRState HCV Incidence and Policies Related to Preventive Services, and HCV Treatment Services for Persons Who Inject Drugs

Media SummaryState HCV Incidence and Policies Related to Preventive Services, and HCV Treatment Services for Persons Who Inject Drugs


Direct-acting Antivirals Approved for Adolescent Use

In April, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved supplemental applications for Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) and Harvoni (ledipasvir and sofosbuvir) to treat hepatitis C virus (HCV) in children ages 12 to 17. Harvoni and Sovaldi were previously approved to treat HCV in adults.

These are the first direct-acting antiviral treatments approved for children and adolescents with HCV. Direct-acting antiviral drugs reduce the amount of HCV in the body by preventing the virus from multiplying, and in most cases, they cure HCV.

Click here to read more.


Hepatitis Resources


HepVu is an interactive online resource that offers a first-of-its-kind picture of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) epidemic across the country.  HepVu will present the first standardized U.S. state-level estimates of Hepatitis C prevalence generated by Emory University’s Coalition for Applied Modeling for Prevention (CAMP) through a project supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Check out the website by clicking here.

HepCure Toolkit

The HepCure Toolkit is a free online support resource for hepatitis C providers and patients. The toolkit is comprised of three different components: a weekly tele-education webinar series, provider dashboard, and a patient app.

The Tele-Education Webinar Series is held every Tuesday from 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM EST and features many topics in hepatitis C. Continuing education credits (CME/CNE) are offered through attendance of the webinars. All of the webinars are archived for playback or download on HepCure's Tumblr page.

For further details, click here.

HCV Advocate website

Hcvadvocate.org is a website supported by the Hepatitis C Support Project and includes   many free resources for anyone to utilize.  The website has links to fact sheets and news articles and educational materials.  Check out the website by clicking here.

Immunization Action Coalition (IAC)

The IAC has many free handouts and facts sheets about hepatitis and many are available in multiple languages.  Check out their website at http://www.immunize.org/

A few handouts that are available…

o    Hepatitis B Facts: Testing and Vaccination http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p2110.pdf

o    If you, your parents, or your children were born in any of these places…http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4170.pdf 

o    Hepatitis B information for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4190.pdf


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