The Indiana Viral Hepatitis Resource Guide is a work in progress. The information gathered through the Hepatitis Provider Inventory Survey is now being compiled into one document to create the resource guide. The completed resource guide; will be available on an Indiana State Department of Health webpage. Thank you for your efforts to provide a great resource for Indiana residents.
New Recommendations for Hepatitis B Screening
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued a "B" grade, recommending screening for hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in persons at high risk, including Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, who make up 5 percent of the total population in the United States, but account for more than 50 percent of Americans living with chronic hepatitis B. The recommendation is currently only a draft.
The USPSTF draft recommendation applies to asymptomatic, non-pregnant adolescents and adults who have not been vaccinated and other individuals at high risk for HBV infection. This includes people born in countries where the prevalence of the disease is greater than 2 percent, as well as those who were born in the United States, but have at least one parent who was born in a region with a high prevalence. This is in contrast to the previous USPSTF recommendation released in 2004, which gave the asymptomatic population a "D" grade, signifying that it was not recommended. To read the USPSTF draft recommendations, click here.
New Hepatitis C Website Launched
The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and the Infectious Diseases Society of America, in collaboration with the International Antiviral Society-USA, have developed guidance for clinicians and patients on the care and treatment of hepatitis C. These recommendations align with Indiana’s focus for early testing, which enables people who are infected to receive treatment as soon as possible. It also helps to prevent progression to more serious disease, such as cirrhosis and liver cancer. To view these recommendations, go to www.hcvguidelines.org.
Advice for Friends and Family of a Loved One with Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is sometimes seen as a disease that does not affect ‘nice’ people, because it is associated with ‘deviant’ behavior. This is largely due to lack of education and understanding. Indeed, most people will not think twice about how they react to a person infected with the hepatitis C virus.
Coming to terms with the virus is a difficult experience for those affected by hepatitis C. One of the hardest things is dealing with the sometimes negative reaction by others, especially close friends and family. With more understanding and knowledge, it is possible though to break down the barriers and lessen the stigma and discrimination so frequently associated with hepatitis C.
To read some easy steps to consider, click here.
CHIPO: New National Coalition to Address HBV in African Immigrant Communities
The Coalition Against Hepatitis In People of African Origin (CHIPO) addresses the high rate of HBV among African immigrants in the U.S. It is a network of 50 members and was established by Chari Cohen, Director of Public Health for the Hepatitis B Foundation. Visit CHIPO on Facebook and Twitter. Join the CHIPO calls on the 4th Monday of every month at 3:00 pm.
Testing HCV positive has a sustained impact on drug injecting behavior
Diagnosis with hepatitis C virus (HCV) was shown to be associated with a sustained reduction in injecting drug use, according to Canadian research published in the online edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases. Each additional three months of follow-up was associated with a 10 percent reduction in the likelihood of injecting cocaine or heroin. Screening for HCV was also associated with a reduction in the likelihood of sharing syringes, not only for people diagnosed with HCV but also for individuals testing HCV negative.
Investigators in Montreal wanted to determine if testing for HCV had a sustained impact on injecting behaviors and alcohol use among PWIDs.
They designed a longitudinal study involving 208 adults who were active injecting drug users and who were HCV negative at baseline. Every six months, participants were screened for HCV and answered questions about their recent injecting behaviors and use of alcohol. Post-test counseling and appropriate referrals were provided. To read the full article click here.
Hepatitis C Doesn’t Affect All Latinos Equally
A new study shows that within the U.S. Latino community, some are much more likely to be infected than others with the Hepatitis C virus (HCV). According to the study, led by researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, Puerto Ricans are over 10 times more likely to become ill with the virus than men and women from other Hispanic backgrounds. While 12 percent of people from Puerto Rico or of Puerto Rican descent are infected, the rate is much lower in Mexicans (2 percent), Dominicans (1.5 percent) and Central Americans (1 percent). To read more click here.
Monitoring Inactive, Chronic Hepatitis B Patients is a Cost-Effective Strategy
A recent study determined that monitoring inactive chronic hepatitis B (HBV) carriers is a cost-effective strategy for China. However, results showed that increasing treatment, monitoring and adherence to therapy are necessary to achieve significant health benefits at the population level. Using simulation models, the research team compared the current strategy of not monitoring inactive chronic HBV patients to a monitor and treat (M&T) strategy. The M&T strategy would include twice-yearly assessment of HBV and alanine transaminase (ALT) levels in patients with chronic HBV. For active HBV cases the researchers suggest treatment with entecavir, which evidence shows to be a cost-effective antiviral therapy in China. To read more, click here.