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New CDC Vital Signs: Hepatitis C Testing

A new multi-area study suggests that only half of Americans with hepatitis C receive complete testing for the virus.

  • Approximately three million Americans are living with hepatitis C and up to 75 percent don’t know they are infected – placing them at serious risk for liver disease, cancer, and death.
  • Only half of Americans identified as ever having had hepatitis C received follow-up testing showing that they were still infected, according to an analysis of data from a multi-area study published today. This data suggest that even among individuals who receive an initial antibody test, as many as half do not know for sure if they still carry the virus.
  • The vast majority of persons living with hepatitis C are baby boomers (individuals born from 1945 through 1965). In fact, the snapshot of diagnosed hepatitis C cases and deaths provided by this analysis underscores the severe impact among this population.
  • CDC is issuing updated guidance to reinforce current recommendations for hepatitis C testing and to ensure people infected with hepatitis C are properly tested and identified.  Testing all baby boomers properly is critical to stem the increasing toll of death and disease from hepatitis C in this nation.

CDC recommends that everyone in the U.S. born from 1945 through 1965 be tested for hepatitis C in order to increase the proportion of those who know they are infected and linked to care. CDC also recommends that other populations at increased risk for hepatitis C get tested.

Graphics / Images

  • Hepatitis Infographic

    Hepatitis C: Testing baby boomers saves lives

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  • Hepatitis Infographic

    Baby Boomers (born from 1945-1965): Ask to be tested for Hepatitis C

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  • Hepatitis Infographic

    Baby Boomers are 5 times more likely to be infected with hepatitis C.

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  • Map of the United states with faces over it.

    Millions of Americans have hepatitis c. Most don’t know it. Talk to your doctor about getting tested. Early detection can save lives.

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  • Hepatitis Poster - Three facts you should know about Hepatits C

    Three facts you should know about Hepatits C.

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  • Hepatitis Poster

    Hepatitis does not descriminate. It affects millions and causes liver cancer. Talk to your doctor about testing. Early detection saves lives.

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  • Hepatitis Infographic

    Find out if you have Hepatits C - It could save your life.

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Contact Information

NCHHSTP Media Relations
404.639.8895
NCHHSTPMediaTeam@cdc.gov

Spokespersons

Tom Frieden, MD, MPH

Biography

Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH

Many people who test positive on an initial hepatitis C test are not receiving the necessary follow-up test to know if their body has cleared the virus or if they are still infected. Complete testing is critical to ensure that those who are infected receive the care and treatment for hepatitis C that they need in order to prevent liver cancer and other serious and potentially deadly health consequences.

Tom Frieden, MD, MPH - Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

John Ward, MD

Biography

John Ward, MD

Hepatitis C has few noticeable symptoms, and left undiagnosed it threatens the health of far too many Americans – especially baby boomers. Identifying those who are currently infected is important because new effective treatments can cure the infection better than ever before, as well as eliminate the risk of transmission to others.

John Ward, MD - Director, Viral Hepatitis Program

Multimedia

Videos

Director's Briefing on Hepatitis C

Director's Briefing: Hepatitis C

Author: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Date: 05/07/2013
Director's Briefing on Hepatitis C

Broadcast Quality Videos on Hepatits C

Hepatitis C: Did You Know?

Hepatitis C: Did You Know?

Author: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Date: 2/27/2013
Hepatitis C: Did You Know?

Podcasts

 
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