Viral Hepatitis Prevention Monthly Newsletter

ISSUE NUMBER FIVE • February 2014

White Wide Section DividerUpdated BannerWhite Wide Section Divider

What's Going on at ISDH

The Viral Hepatitis Prevention Coordinator is available to conduct more educational trainings throughout the state.  If you or your organization would like training please contact Brittany Gross at or 317-233-7627.   

Spotlight On...

Green Section Divider PNG

CDC Guidance for Evaluating Health-Care Personnel for Hepatitis B Virus Protection and for Administering Postexposure Management

The report contains CDC guidance that augments the 2011 recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for evaluating hepatitis B protection among health-care personnel (HCP) and administering post-exposure prophylaxis.

Explicit guidance is provided for persons working, training, or volunteering in health-care settings who have documented hepatitis B (HepB) vaccination years before hire or matriculation (e.g., when HepB vaccination was received as part of routine infant [recommended since 1991] or catch-up adolescent [recommended since 1995] vaccination).

This report emphasizes the importance of administering HepB vaccination for all HCP, provides explicit guidance for evaluating hepatitis B protection among previously vaccinated HCP (particularly those who were vaccinated in infancy or adolescence), and clarifies recommendations for postexposure management of HCP exposed to blood or body fluids.

To access the full report click here. 

Green Small Divider

Hepatitis Resources Hepatitis C Support Group Handbook has recently updated their support group handbook.  The Hepatitis C Support Group Handbook is  designed to provide all the information needed to start or maintain a support group through providing an understanding of HCV and how to manage it.  However it is not intended as medical advice. Feel free to share this resource with community partners.  To access the handbook, click here.   

Hepatitis B and Reducing Perinatal Transmission

Mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis B, also known as perinatal transmission, is still a public health problem in the U.S. with an estimated 800 newborns chronically infected each year. A webinar, sponsored by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, White House Initiative on Asian Americans, and Hep B United provides an overview and discussion of new tools to address the issue. A free recording of the webinar is now available. To access the recording via You Tube, click here.  

SAMHSA Resources for Viral Hepatitis 

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 Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved HCV drugs, but the information included is still beneficial and useful. Links are below. Please share this with substance use providers and others in your networks. 

Addressing Viral Hepatitis in People With Substance Use Disorders

TIP 53: Addressing Viral Hepatitis in People With Substance Use Disorders     

Green Section Divider PNG

Viral Hepatitis Updates & News

Testing Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders for Hepatitis B-Clinical Summary 

Studies have shown that while Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) represent 5 percent of the total U.S. population, they make up 50 percent of hepatitis B cases. Nearly two in three people living with chronic hepatitis B do not know they are infected. Testing for chronic hepatitis B plays an important role in the detection, classification, management and medical care for patients with hepatitis B. A fact sheet outlines who should be tested for Hepatitis B with an HBsAg test, the geographic distribution of chronic hepatitis B infection worldwide, recommended follow-up for a positive HBsAg, and interpretation of serologic tests. Click here for resources, including the fact sheet. 

Price of Pill that Will Likely Cure 90% of Hepatitis C Patients

Recently the drug sofosbuvir received FDA approval.  Now we know that it will cost $1,000 per pill.   A typical course of treatment will last 12 weeks and run $84,000, plus the cost of necessary companion drugs.  Now there is a debate over the price.  To read about the new drug and factors in the cost click on the following link,

New Vaccine Against Hepatitis B Virus Developed    

In a move to combat the threat of hepatitis B virus in children, Israel’s pharmaceutical company, SciGen has developed Sci-B-Vac, the world’s only commercially available third-generation vaccine against the hepatitis B virus (HBV).

Even though 167 countries now vaccinate at birth, HBV — up to 100 times more infectious than AIDS-causing HIV — is still a major global health problem causing 1.2 million deaths every year from liver disease and the introduction of Sci-B-Vac offers a new vaccine alternative.

The new vaccine is not yet approved for use in the U.S.

New Viral Hepatitis Testing Act 

On December 12, 2013 U.S. Representative Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and the first gastroenterologist elected to Congress) introduced the Viral Hepatitis Testing Act of 2013, HR3723, with Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) and Brett Guthrie (R-KY). The Viral Hepatitis Testing Act calls for increased testing and education since an estimated 75 percent of individuals with viral hepatitis are unaware of their infection. Chronic HBV and HCV infections are the leading cause of liver cancer, one of the deadliest and fastest growing cancers in incidence in the United States.  To read more click here.

Please note that the above information is for informational purposes only and does not represent the opinions or support of the Indiana State Department of Health in any way.


Small Green Section Divider Small Green Section Divider


National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day- February 7

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD) was first observed in 1999.  The 2014 theme is "I am My Brother's and Sister's Keeper. Fight HIV/AIDS!"

Click here to see how you can get involved. 

Small Green Section Divider