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Action Plan for the Prevention, Care and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis

Logo and text that reads, 'Combating the Silent Epidemic of Viral Hepatitis. Action Plan for the Prevention, Care & Treatment of Viral Hepatitis'

Building on the success of the nation’s first comprehensive cross-agency action plan, released in 2011, Combating the Silent Epidemic of Viral Hepatitis: Action Plan for the Prevention, Care, & Treatment of Viral Hepatitis, the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Justice (DOJ), and Veterans Affairs (VA) released a 3-year update of the plan in April 2014.

The updated  Viral Hepatitis Action Plan [PDF - 100 pages] builds on the foundation of the original action plan and seeks to harness:

  • New recommendations for health care providers regarding screening for hepatitis C;
  • Promising new developments in treatments for hepatitis C;
  • Mounting public awareness of and concern about hepatitis B and hepatitis C; and
  • The expansion of access to viral hepatitis prevention, diagnosis, care, and treatment offered by the Affordable Care Act.

The updated Viral Hepatitis Action Plan details more than 150 actions to be undertaken during 2014 -2016 by 14 federal agencies and offices from across four federal departments. Those actions are organized around six priority areas:

  1. Educate health care providers and communities to reduce health disparities
  2. Improve testing, care, and treatment to prevent liver disease and cancer
  3. Strengthen surveillance to detect viral hepatitis transmission and disease
  4. Eliminate transmission of vaccine-preventable viral hepatitis
  5. Reduce viral hepatitis caused by drug-use behaviors
  6. Protect patients and workers from health-care associated viral hepatitis

This Viral Hepatitis Action Plan underscores that its national goals cannot be achieved through federal action alone. Envisioning active involvement of and innovation by a broad mix of nonfederal stakeholders from various sectors, both public and private, the plan provides a framework and focus around which all key stakeholders can engage to strengthen the nation’s response to viral hepatitis and seeks to leverage opportunities to improve the coordination of viral hepatitis activities across all sectors.

The updated Action Plan continues the pursuit of four overarching national goals to be achieved by 2020:

  • Increase in the proportion of persons who are aware of their hepatitis B virus infection, from 33% to 66%
  • Increase in the proportion of persons who are aware of their hepatitis C virus infection, from 45% to 66%
  • Reduce by 25% the number of new cases of HCV infection
  • Eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HBV

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