Hepatitis Happenings and Updates

By Jasmine West June 4, 2019

June Twitter #HepChat19

Join NASTAD, the Hepatitis B Foundation, and CDC’s Division of Viral Hepatitis for a Twitter #HepChat19 on Thursday, June 13 at 2 PM ET. The chat will highlight Hepatitis Awareness Month outreach events and provide partner organizations a way to share their successes, challenges, and lessons learned from their efforts during May. Partners are invited to share images and videos of their May events during the chat. Join the conversation with the hashtag #HepChat19.  

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NASTAD Updates

NASTAD Success Stories for Hepatitis Awareness Month

Last week, NASTAD released an installment of its Success Stories for Hepatitis Awareness Month featuring health department responses to the HAV outbreak and highlighting the work that has taken place in Indiana, Michigan, and Utah. 

  1. The Role of DIS in Reaching the Population Most Affected by Indiana’s Hepatitis A Outbreak
  2. Cross-cutting and Multi-stakeholder Response to the Hepatitis A Outbreak in Michigan
  3. Leveraging Partnerships to Respond to the Hepatitis A Outbreak in Utah

Some key themes in the responses to the HAV outbreaks include the need for multi-stakeholder engagement and working with partners such as syringe service providers, community-based organizations, and harm reduction programs as well as leveraging existing health department programs and field service staff.

NASTAD’s Annual Meeting 

Meanwhile, NASTAD hosted their 2019 Annual Meeting, May 19-22 in Washington DC with the theme of, “The Time is NOW: End the Epidemics” NASTAD’s Hepatitis Team introduced a breakout session on Ending the Hepatitis Epidemics: Strengthening Health Department Infrastructure to Make Elimination a Reality, where expert panelists discussed their efforts across the country working to eliminate viral hepatitis. They addressed gaps in the current infrastructure at the national, state, and local levels that we know is critical to elimination such as under-resourced surveillance, insufficient harm reduction services, and restricted treatment access. During this breakout, results from NASTAD’s Ending the Viral Hepatitis Epidemics: Health Department Infrastructure and Technical Assistance (TA) Needs Assessment were shared, updates on NASTAD’s Viral Hepatitis TA Center and ASTHO’s Elimination Planning Project were provided, and the discussion focused on how we get to where we actually need to be to make hepatitis elimination a reality.

Resources

End Hep C SF Video Series

A new video series was released in April to showcase how End Hep C SF has progressed towards eliminating HCV in San Francisco. The videos raise awareness about End Hep C SF, San Francisco’s collective impact initiative to eliminate hepatitis C as a public health threat and highlights critical aspects of the initiative such as community leadership at all levels of the work. They are incredibly inspiring and motivating—take a look!  

WHO Releases HCV Policy Brief for People Who Inject Drugs

The World Health Organization (WHO) has released a new policy brief detailing the current landscape of hepatitis C virus (HCV) care in people who inject drugs (PWID), as well as people in prison. According to the report, there exists a need for greater awareness around HCV testing and prevention in these populations, and they believe that the introduction of new policies and legislation may be helpful for improving access to care for these and many other marginalized groups.

Upcoming webinars:

Thursday, June 20, 1:00-2:00 PM EST

This webinar will showcase jurisdiction’s hepatitis testing initiatives outside the clinic. Presenters will share their innovative community outreach models, unique partnership collaborations, and how they are expanding access to diagnosis and linkage to care in community settings. 

Thursday, June 20, 2:00-3:00 PM EST

This webinar will focus on strategies to increase access to hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment for people with substance use disorders. The overall goal is to encourage more providers to integrate HCV care into their practice for both HCV mono- and HIV/HCV co-infected clients. 

Archived Webinars & Recordings:

Presented by CDC: April 22, 2019

May was Hepatitis Awareness Month and CDC showcased their free tools in their resource center intended to support awareness on hepatitis activities and testing. See the short video below to learn about a variety of resources and how to access them. 

Presented by NASTAD: May 13, 2019 

This webinar provided a discussion on currently available HIV and HCV testing technologies. Both laboratory-based and point-of-care tests were addressed, as will emerging test technologies, including point-of-care viral load tests. As integration of HIV and HCV testing is increasingly prioritized by health departments, strategies and resources to support integration are critical and were discussed.   

Blog:   NASTAD Hepatitis Testing Partnership

This blog provides an overview of NASTAD’s Hepatitis Testing Partnership coalition that shares best practices, lessons learned, and resource to increase hepatitis testing and linkage to care in the U.S. 

To learn more about and join the partnership or to share examples of effective resources and testing projects that can benefit others working on HCV testing, email hepatitis@nastad.org

Fact sheets & toolkits:

In the US, Asian American and Pacific Islanders are disproportionately impacted by hepatitis B. The Know Hepatitis B Campaign provides free, culturally sensitive materials in over 10 languages. 

The new progress report released May 23, 2019 at the 72nd World Health Assembly reviews success and challenges in implementing the global health sector strategies, 2016-2021 on HIV, hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The report also outlines 8 joint actions for accelerating progress towards universal health coverage.

Upcoming Meetings

National Opioid Leadership Summit | June 25, 2019  

Join the Public Health Institute, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams and colleagues from across the country on June 25 in Sacramento, CA to learn about, share and collaborate on real solutions to the opioid crisis that bridge the criminal justice, health care and public health sectors.

United States Conference on AIDS (USCA) | September 5-8, 2019 

The 2019 United States Conference on AIDS (USCA) will be held September 5-8, 2019 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Washington DC. The national plan to end the HIV epidemic will be the focus of this year’s conference. The AIDS Institute and NASTAD are excited to co-host the hepatitis pathway again this year, which will consist of four 2-hour sessions on a variety of topics related to the intersection of hepatitis and HIV/AIDS. 

Job Opportunities 

Viral Hepatitis Program CoordinatorAZ Dept of Health Services (ADHS)

The Viral Hepatitis Program Coordinator serves as a senior-level professional epidemiologist responsible for carrying out a broad and complex range of investigative and analytical epidemiologic activities related to the surveillance, detection, and prevention of diseases and injuries.

Health Program Specialist II, CA Dept of Public Health (CDPH)

The Specialist will provide harm reduction technical assistance to CBOs, FQHCs and health departments working to add syringe access to their services for people who inject drugs, will review applications for compliance with state law and regulations, and meet tight deadlines to usher applications through the government review process.

Program Director, NVHR

This position will support NVHR’s core programs under HEP’s operational leadership, leading NVHR’s key efforts to eliminate viral hepatitis, including the removal of HCV treatment access restrictions in partnership with the Center of Health Law and Policy Innovation, fostering community and provider advocacy engagement, and developing the national collation to lead coordinated efforts across the U.S. Closing date, June 30. 

Requests for Information:

Hepatitis C Provider Survey

HealthHCV launched its 2019 State of HCV Care National Survey in partnership with Medscape. This survey reaches providers nationwide, specifically hepatologists, gastroenterologists, infectious disease specialists, HIV specialists, primary care providers, and others screening for and/or treating hepatitis C. 

Please share this survey with providers in your networks to help collect essential data to shape our national HCV advocacy, education, and training in 2019 and beyond. 

Tool of the Month

Materials on Syringe Services Programs

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released materials for use by health departments that provide information on the critical role of SSPs in prevention and treatment. These include:

  • A summary of information on the safety and effectiveness of SSPs in reducing viral hepatitis and HIV.
  • A fact sheet outlining the various ways SSPs help prevent transmission of blood-borne infections and link people to care, reduce and treat substance use, and enhance public safety.
  • A SSP infographic for state and local health departments and community partners to describe what SSPs are and what they can do. 
  • Frequently asked questions and answers about SSPs.

News Bulletin

Articles of interest:

AbbVie wins hep C contract with Washington state in latest ‘Netflix’ deal

“The state of Washington announced that it has selected AbbVie to provide hepatitis C medication through an unconventional subscription payment program that seeks to expand patient access while containing drug costs. The contract is part of the state's plan to eliminate the common viral infection by 2030.” 

FDA approved first treatment for all genotypes of hepatitis C in pediatric patients

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Mavyret (glecaprevir and pibrentasvir) tablets to treat all six genotypes of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in children ages 12 to 17. The approval represents another treatment option for children and adolescents with HCV infection in all genotypes of HCV for the first time.”

More Affirmation That Transplanting Hep C–Infected Organs Is Safe

“An ongoing study has seen a 100 percent success rate in clearing the virus in transplantees after just four weeks of treatment.