Know YourA,B,C’s:A Viral Hepatitis Initiative for all Adults in the U.S.
Rates of hepatitis A, B and C infections are rising in the United States at an alarming rate. With over 5 million people in the U.S. impacted with acute or chronic viral hepatitis infections, it is important, now more than ever, that all adults Know Their HepatitisA,B,C’s. This is a call for all adults in the U.S. to know their hepatitis B and C status, and get vaccinated for hepatitis A. One-time hepatitis B and C screening can be made simple with the development of a combination viral hepatitis screening panel test for all adults in the United States over the age of 18 (HCV RNA, HBsAg, anti-HBs, anti-HBc). All testing should include appropriate follow-up care: vaccination for hepatitis B for those who are unprotected, and management/treatment for those found to have acute or chronic hepatitis B or C. This strategy can 1) prevent future viral hepatitis-associated deaths, 2) prevent viral hepatitis associated liver cancer, 3) reverse the increase of viral hepatitis rates in the U.S., 4) improve vaccination coverage in the U.S. to work towards elimination of viral hepatitis, and 5) prevent acute infection-associated hospitalizations, liver failure, liver transplant and death. As we are building health care infrastructure in the U.S. to improve testing and vaccination for SARS-CoV-2, we create an opportunity to provide other critical health testing and vaccination for U.S. adults.