CDC Viral Hepatitis Updates
Surveillance Summary, 2015Summary of Trends in Viral Hepatitis – United States, 2015 now available.
CDC Medscape Commentary: Testing, Care, and Cure of Hepatitis C Can Be Done in Primary CareDespite many challenges, an increasing number of HCV-infected patients are being treated and cured, and many can be managed in primary care. Watch as Dr. Alexander Millman, a physician in the Division of Viral Hepatitis at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discusses opportunities for improving the testing, care, and cure of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and increasing opportunities for primary care providers (PCPs) to provide HCV-directed care and treatment.
MMWR: Hepatitis Awareness Month and Testing Day — May 2017May 19th is National Hepatitis Testing Day in the United States to emphasize the importance of testing persons at risk for hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections, most of whom are unaware of their infection status. This issue of MMWR includes two reports describing trends in HCV incidence and the availability of HCV prevention and treatment services that stop transmission. In the first report, only three states had comprehensive laws providing full access to HCV preventive and treatment services for PWID. The second report estimates rates of HCV infection among pregnant women in the United States and Tennessee; in the United States, HCV rates nearly doubled during 2009–2014, and in Tennessee, the rate in 2014 was approximately three times the national rate. Data from both reports emphasize the importance of viral hepatitis surveillance to identify communities at risk for HCV and public health policies that make available interventions that prevent HCV transmission and disease.
MMWR: State HCV Incidence and Policies Related to Preventive Services, and HCV Treatment Services for Persons Who Inject DrugsInjection drug use is the primary risk factor for new HCV infections. To evaluate factors affecting access to HCV preventive and treatment services, CDC assessed state laws governing access to safe injection equipment and Medicaid policies related to sobriety requirements for approval of HCV treatment for persons who inject drugs. In 2015, HCV incidence remained high in the United States, with rates in 17 states exceeding the national average. Three states were determined to have state laws and Medicaid policies capable of comprehensively preventing and treating HCV among persons who inject drugs. Opportunities exist for states to adopt laws and policies that could help increase access to HCV preventive and treatment services reducing the number of persons at risk for HCV transmission and disease.
MMWR: Hepatitis C Virus Infection Among Women Giving Birth — Tennessee and United States, 2009–2014Recent surveillance data demonstrated increased rates of HCV infection among adolescents and adults who are predominantly white, live in non-urban areas, and have a history of injection drug use. U.S. birth certificate data were used to analyze trends and geographic variations in rates of HCV infection among women giving birth from 2009–2014. Birth certificates from Tennessee were used to examine individual characteristics and outcomes associated with HCV infection, using a multivariable model to calculate adjusted odds of HCV-related diagnosis in pregnancy among women with live births. In adjusted analyses of Tennessee births, the odds of HCV infection were approximately 3-fold higher among women residing in rural counties than among those in large urban counties, 4.5-fold higher among women who smoked cigarettes during pregnancy, and nearly 17-fold higher among women with concurrent hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. HCV infection among pregnant women is an increasing and potentially modifiable threat to maternal and child health. Clinicians and public health officials should consider individual and population-level opportunities for prevention and risk mitigation.
Hepatitis C Virus Infection Among Reproductive-Aged Women and Children in the United States, 2006 to 2014The prevalence of HCV infection among pregnant women has been difficult to determine, because HCV screening is not performed routinely in this population. As a result, many HCV infections may go undetected because of under recognition of risk behaviors, as well as concerns about stigmatization or legal consequences if risk behaviors are disclosed. Data from this analysis suggest a recent increase in HCV infection among reproductive-aged women and may inform deliberations regarding a role for routine HCV screening during pregnancy.
Strengthening Surveillance in Jurisdictions with High Incidence of Hepatitis C Virus and Hepatitis B Virus Infections (CDC-RFA-PS17-1703)To improve active surveillance of hepatitis C virus and hepatitis B virus in statewide jurisdictions, CDC is funding surveillance projects in 14 states to engage directly with providers, laboratories, and patients to obtain more complete case information. These statewide viral hepatitis surveillance data will be used to determine and document the burden of disease; identify outbreaks; identify groups that are at high risk of transmitting and/or acquiring the infections; and, support design, implementation, and evaluation of prevention services including testing, linkage to care, and treatment. States receiving funding for surveillance projects are: Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and West Virginia.