May is Hepatitis Awareness Month
Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C can become chronic, life-long infections which can lead to liver cancer. Millions of Americans are living with chronic viral hepatitis, and many do not know they are infected.
CDC’s Division of Viral Hepatitis is leading a national campaign called Know More Hepatitis. The campaign aims to increase awareness about this hidden epidemic and encourage people born from 1945-1965 to get tested for Hepatitis C. The division is also coordinating with community partners to promote testing among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders through the multilingual Know Hepatitis B campaign.
Hepatitis Risk Assessment
The online Hepatitis Risk Assessment is designed to determine an individual’s risk for viral hepatitis and asks questions based upon CDC’s recommendations for testing and vaccination. The Hepatitis Risk Assessment allows individuals to answer questions privately, either in their home or in a health care setting, and print their recommendations to discuss with their doctor.
Hepatitis Testing Day – May 19th
May 19th has been designated as a national “Hepatitis Testing Day” in the United States. The CDC and others use Hepatitis Testing Day as an opportunity to remind health care providers and the public who should be tested for chronic viral hepatitis.
The word “hepatitis” means inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis is most often caused by one of several viruses. In the United States, the most common types of viral hepatitis are Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C.
Chronic Hepatitis can lead to Liver Cancer
Unlike Hepatitis A, which does not cause a long-term infection, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C can become chronic, life-long infections. More than five million Americans are living with chronic Hepatitis B or chronic Hepatitis C in the United States, but most do not know they are infected. Chronic hepatitis can cause serious liver problems, including liver damage, cirrhosis, and even liver cancer. People with chronic hepatitis B and hepatitis C have the greatest risk of liver cancer. In fact, more than 60 percent of liver cancer cases are associated with Hepatitis B or C.
Vaccine-preventable: Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B
Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B can both be prevented with vaccines. Cases of Hepatitis A have dramatically declined in the U.S. over the last 20 years largely due to vaccination efforts. The Hepatitis A vaccine is recommended for all children at one year of age and for adults who may be at increased risk.
Unfortunately, many people became infected with Hepatitis B before the Hepatitis B vaccine was widely available. The hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for all infants at birth and for adults who may be at risk.
Follow @cdchep on Twitter to receive information from CDC about hepatitis resources, tools, publications, campaign updates, and events. Use the hashtags #HepAware, #HepTestingDay, and #hepatitis to join the conversation and help us share information on viral hepatitis.
- Page last reviewed: March 28, 2016
- Page last updated: March 28, 2016
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