Informational Brief on CDC Hepatitis Funded Program: Community-Based Hepatitis C Program

CDC estimates that approximately 3.5 million people in the U.S. are living with hepatitis C. The overall goal for addressing hepatitis C is to ensure hepatitis C infected persons are aware of their status, receive counseling to prevent transmission, and receive appropriate medical care and treatment to prevent premature death particularly from liver cancer. On average, people living with hepatitis C die at 59 years, 20 years earlier than people who are not infected.

Improved approaches are needed to test, treat, and cure patients with hepatitis C.  There is a need to:

Not tested. Left untreated, Hepatitis C can cause liver damage and liver failure. Hepatitis C is the #1 cause of liver transplants. Hepatitis C is a leading cause of liver cancer.
  • Increase the number of persons tested, who receive lifesaving care and treatment, and are ultimately cured.
  • Expand primary-care providers’ capacity to diagnose and cure hepatitis C infection.
  • Establish networks of key partners (i.e., health departments, specialists in hepatitis C care, and primary care providers) to develop and implement services in areas with high rates of hepatitis C.
  • Support and evaluate efforts to reduce hepatitis C infections and provide best practices that can be applied nationwide.
Tested. Knowing you have Hepatitis C can help you make important decisions about your health. Many people can get lifesaving care and treatment.  Successful treatments can eliminate the virus from the body.

CDC has awarded funding for three projects in:

  • Chicago, IL – University of Chicago
  • Baltimore, MD – Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
  • Seattle, WA – Public Health – Seattle & King County

To increase health-care capacity and increase the number of persons diagnosed, treated, and cured, these projects:

  • Increase health department’s capacity to gather and follow-up on reports of current hepatitis C cases in populations with high rates of hepatitis C.
  • Strengthen health care capacity to test and treat hepatitis C.
  • Develop strategies to reduce cost and improve patient and provider acceptance of hepatitis C services at clinical sites.
  • Meet targets for testing (at least 10,000 persons per year, per site), diagnosis, and cure.

Funding:

Funding for the four-year project period is expected to be approximately $4.5M each year.