Viral Hepatitis Monthly Newsletter

ISSUE NUMBER FOUR • January 2014

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The Start of a New Year!

Welcome to 2014 and thank you for your faithful readership!  The Viral Hepatitis Prevention Program has worked to develop a resource guide for viral hepatitis services and has worked to educate Hoosiers on viral hepatitis.  The resource guide is coming together!  Should you be interested in viral hepatitis education, please contact Brittany Gross at 317-233-7627 or  

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Spotlight On...

Immunization Action Coalition Enrolls Indiana Birthing Institution into its Hepatitis B Birth Dose Honor Roll! 

The Women's Hospital, Newburgh, IN joined the Honor Roll. 

The Honor Roll is a key part of the Immunization Action Coalition’s (IAC) major initiative urging the nation’s hospitals to Give birth to the end of Hep B. Hospitals and birthing centers are recognized for attaining high coverage rates for administering hepatitis B vaccine at birth and meeting specific additional criteria. The initiative urges qualifying healthcare organizations to apply for the Hepatitis B Birth Dose Honor Roll online.

To be included in the Hepatitis B Birth Dose Honor Roll, a birthing institution must have: (1) reported a coverage rate of 90 percent or greater, over a 12-month period, for administering hepatitis B vaccine before hospital discharge to all newborns, including those whose parents refuse vaccination, and (2) implemented specific written policies, procedures, and protocols to protect all newborns from hepatitis B virus infection prior to hospital discharge.

Honorees are also awarded an 8.5" x 11" color certificate suitable for framing and their acceptance is announced to IAC Express’s approximately 50,000 readers.

Please visit the new Hepatitis B Birth Dose Honor Roll web page that lists these institutions and their exceptional efforts to protect infants from perinatal hepatitis B transmission.  

New Drugs Approved to Treat Chronic Hepatitis C      

On Friday, Nov. 22, 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Simeprevir (Olysio), a protease inhibitor from Jansen Pharmaceuticals, to treat chronic hepatitis C infections.  The new drug is indicated for adults with compensated liver disease, including cirrhosis, who have yet to receive treatment for hepatitis C, or who have not responded well to previous treatments. The FDA said simeprevir is designed as one component of a combination antiviral therapy regimen. To read more click on the following link,


On Monday, Dec. 9, 2013, the FDA approved Sofosbuvir (Sovaldi) to treat chronic hepatitis C infections.  This is a breakthrough drug since it's the first such drug that does not require same-time administration of interferon.  Sovaldi is designed to inhibit a protein that the virus needs to replicate. The drug's safety and effectiveness were evaluated in clinical studies involving 1,947 people who hadn't responded to other hepatitis C treatments, who hadn't been treated previously, or who couldn't tolerate the standard treatment of interferon.  The most common side effects of Sovaldi included fatigue and headache. The drug is marketed by Gilead.  To read more on sofosbuvir, click on the following link,

*Please note that the aforementioned articles and specifically named products or companies mentioned in the above article does not constitute an endorsement of any product or company by the ISDH.

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Hepatitis Resources

SAMSHA Resources for Viral Hepatitis      

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently released a quick reference guide to assist clinicians and substance use treatment providers with information about hepatitis screening and treatment. The guide does not include information on the two recently FDA approved HCV drugs, but the information included is beneficial and useful. To access the guide click on the following links,   & 

New Tool to Help Gastroenterologists Manage Patientswith Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Infection       

The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Clinical Decision Tool for the Screening and Evaluation of Hepatitis C will help gastroenterologists in the early management of HCV-positive patients.  The HCV Clinical Decision Tool is unique in that each decision point was evaluated and graded for its strength of evidence and strength of recommendation.  It was designed to aid gastroenterologists in the early management of HCV-positive patients through an evidence-based, cost effective initial evaluation of HCV-positive patients.  To read more, click on the following link,   Check out the tool at

Know Hepatitis B

Know Hepatitis B is CDC’s first multi-lingual campaign promoting testing for Hepatitis B among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs), who are disproportionately affected by Hepatitis B. The campaign launched in June 2013 with support from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), HHS office of Minority Health, and the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Developed in partnership with hepatitis B coalitions around the country, the campaign seeks to increase awareness and encourage people who may be chronically infected with hepatitis B to get tested. By doing so, people can take care of themselves and protect their families.

Know Hepatitis B messages throughout the country feature materials in English, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Burmese, Khmer, Lao and Hmong. These messages are delivered through a variety of multi-media channels. Print, radio, and TV PSAs are also available for Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese media outlets. Partners can join the movement by downloading and using digital tools.

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Viral Hepatitis Updates & News

Experts Release Landmark findings on Blacks and Hepatitis C 

The National Medical Association (NMA) recently released the Consensus Panel Paper entitled: Hepatitis C: A Crisis in the African-American Community. When faced with the startling facts on the burden of Hepatitis C (HCV) in the Black community, former NMA President Rahn K. Bailey, MD convened experts to make recommendations to address this crisis. 

Hepatitis C is more common and results in higher primary liver cancer and death rates due to liver disease in African-Americans compared to White Americans. To explore the issues that lead to higher rates of disease and poorer outcomes among African-Americans, the NMA convened a Consensus Panel.  To read an overview of the report and access the report at the end of the overview, please click here.

Hepatitis C Virus Reinfection Incidence and Treatment Outcomes Among HIV-Positive MSM

Liver disease secondary to hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in the context of HIV infection is one of the leading non-AIDS causes of death. Sexual transmission of HCV infection among HIV-positive MSM appears to be leading to increased reports of acute HCV infection. Reinfection after successful treatment or spontaneous clearance is reported among HIV-positive MSM but the scale of reinfection is unknown.  A retrospective study was performed looking at HIV-positive MSM with sexually acquired HCV who subsequently spontaneously cleared or underwent successful HCV treatment between 2004 and 2012.  The study found that despite efforts at reducing risk behavior, HIV-positive MSM who clear HCV infection remain at high risk of reinfection. This emphasizes the need for increased sexual education, surveillance and preventive intervention work. To read the full article, click here.



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No events were reported for this month

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Heartland Community Services Foundation INC.  has developed a Public Service Announcement video encouraging Baby Bommers, those persons born between 1945 and 1965, to get tested for hepatitis C.  To check it out, click here.