Policy Brief: Reducing Health Disparities: Using Health Risk Assessments to Improve Viral Hepatitis Screening and Immunization
Combating the Silent Epidemic of Viral Hepatitis: Action Plan for the Prevention, Care and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis
The "Secret" Epidemic: Disparities in Hepatitis C Incidence, Treatment, and Outcomes, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
Winning the Future: A Road Map for the Asian American and Pacific Islander Community, The White House
Hepatitis and Liver Cancer: A National Strategy for Prevention & Control of Hepatitis B & C, Institute of Medicine (Report)
Hepatitis and Liver Cancer: A National Strategy for Prevention & Control of Hepatitis B & C, Institute of Medicine (Brief)
Recommendations for Identification of Persons with Chronic Hepatitis B Virus Infection, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, MMWR
California Adult Viral Hepatitis Prevention Strategic Plan, 2010-2014, California Department of Public Health
SB 1159 Report: An Evaluation of Over-the-Counter Sale of Sterile Syringes in California, California Department of Public Health
Viral Hepatitis: Disparities and Opportunities
Viral hepatitis is often referred to as a silent epidemic. The vast majority of individuals infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) do not know they are infected, that they can infect others, and that with treatment they could avoid deadly or disabling liver disease or cancer. The estimated number of persons in California currently infected with untreated chronic viral hepatitis exceeds 700,000. Without improved screening and treatment efforts, from 2010 to 2030 the number of liver cancer cases in the U.S. is expected to rise 59 percent, with the highest increases expected among Hispanics and Asian American and Pacific Islanders.
Over half of those with chronic HBV are Asian/Pacific Islanders, many of whom have emigrated from countries with high rates of hepatitis B infection. While smaller in number, the highest rate of infection is among African American men (2.3 per 100,000). African Americans and Hispanics have higher rates of hepatitis C infection than Whites. In addition, 34 percent of California’s prison population is infected with chronic HCV.
Many aspects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provide opportunities to improve viral hepatitis prevention, screening, and treatment services. This is a crucial time for policymakers and advocates to ensure that ACA implementation efforts include strategies to reduce the current and future burden of viral hepatitis in California.
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