Hepatitis Happenings and Updates

By Jasmine West July 18, 2019

World Hepatitis Day

World Hepatitis Day (WHD) takes place every year on July 28 to raise awareness of the global burden of viral hepatitis. In observance of World Hepatitis Day 2019, NASTAD supports and encourages efforts to identify the more than 290 million people, globally, who are living with viral hepatitis and do not know. 

“Find the Missing Millions” highlights the need for coordinated strategies to identify people who are living with hepatitis who have not been diagnosed and linked to care. Click for campaign materials to raise awareness on #worldhepatitisday.

The World Hepatitis Alliance has additional information for medical professionalspolicy makersmedia influencers, and people worried that they might have hepatitis

HepB United Summit

Hep B United is a national coalition co-chaired by the Hepatitis B Foundation and the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO). Hep B United hosts an Annual Summit in Washington DC and you can join the summit that will be streaming live July 24 and 25 via Hep B United's Facebook Page! The summit hashtag is #HepBUnite19 and remember to tag @HepBUnited (FB, Twitter, Instagram). 

For the latest hepatitis B news, resources, and upcoming events, please visit www.hepb.org and www.hepbunited.org

NASTAD Updates

Health Equity Initiative Regional Meetings 

NASTAD in collaboration with ASTHO recently completed a series of five in-person regional meetings through its Health Equity Initiative. The initiative was designed to provide participants with key training, tools, network opportunities, and resources needed to advance partnerships within each state health department. These meetings brought together key players from HIV Prevention, Viral Hepatitis, and Health Equity/Minority Health programs to discuss programmatic priorities, identify opportunities for alignment, and share innovative models for collaboration. 

Take a look at the Health Equity Initiative Distance-Based Curriculum, a living repository of resource on state health equity/minority health, HIV, and hepatitis programs. This will continue to be updated throughout the duration of the project. If you have any questions or feedback, please reach out here or email hepatitis@nastad.org

Participants at the Boston Health Equity Initiative Meeting

SHOUT OUT! to Angela Johnson, Director HIV Prevention and Edwin Corbin-Gutierrez, Sr. Manager, Health Systems Integration for their tireless efforts throughout this process! 

Policy Updates

Senate Appropriations Chair Richard Shelby (R-AL) stated last week that the Senate will not begin the process of marking up fiscal year (FY) 2020 spending bills until a deal between Congressional leaders and the Trump administration is reached on overall budget caps for FY2020 and FY2021. 

The deadline for the US’ debt ceiling, and ability to borrow money, is fast approaching (beginning of September), with Congress scheduled for a month-long recess in August. NASTAD is hopeful a deal can be reached so that the increases for the National Viral Hepatitis Programs at CDC and the SUPPORT Act included in the House bill can be included in a Senate bill as well.If a budget caps deal is not reached, Congress will be forced to pass a Continuing Resolution for one year, killing the progress made. The delay however does give NASTAD more time to continue advocating before the Senate on these issues.


Upcoming webinars:

Tuesday, July 23, 1:00 PM EST 

The CDC and Harm Reduction Coalition are collaborating to bring you this webinar, featuring Alice Asher, a Senior Service Fellow in the office of Policy, Planning and Partnerships within CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. The webinar will be followed by a panel discussion featuring local providers who developed and implemented a local harm reduction response to Hepatitis A as outbreaks developed in their communities.

Wednesday, July 24, 3:00 PM EST

Andrew Reynolds, Senior Advisor, Viral Hepatitis for the Hepatitis Education Project, and independent HCV and harm reduction consultant will discuss how behavioral health providers can implement HCV screening procedures, have the knowledge to provide HCV prevention and treatment education and conduct the necessary follow-up, referral to care and other related services.

Tuesday, July 30, 3:00 PM EST

In the U.S., there have been high rates of Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection among special and vulnerable populations, including Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AA&NHPIs). Despite the availability of a highly effective vaccine, barriers to preventing hepatitis B infection in the U.S. remain, including low rates of hepatitis B vaccination coverage among adults and increased rates of injection drug use. This webinar, hosted by the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO), will promote opportunities to increase adult hep B vaccinations amongst patients and providers and highlight the need to address hep B within the opioid epidemic. 

 Thursday, August 8; 2:00 PM EST

While hepatitis A and B vaccines are specifically recommended for gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GBM), vaccine rates among this group remain low. With the outbreaks of hepatitis A across the country and rise in acute hepatitis B in a number of states, it is critical that vaccinations are reaching the right communities. This webinar will provide an update about the multi-state hepatitis A outbreak, an overview of the new and existing hepatitis A and B vaccination recommendations, highlight Colorado’s response to a hepatitis A outbreak in their GBM community, and introduce new resources and outreach materials developed by CDC. Register for the webinar here.         

Archived Webinars & Recordings:

More than 257 million people worldwide are chronically infected with HBV and nearly 900,000 people died from the disease in 2017. Hepatitis B United hosted a webinar in June and panelists discussed International Coalition to Eliminate HBV (ICE-HBV) and how a global scientific strategy lays the groundwork for the momentum behind hepatitis B cure research and the long-term implementation of HBV cure preparedness worldwide. You can access the recording here.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) hosted a public meeting on the integration of services for opioid use disorder and infectious disease. The goal of the study overall is to identify and highlight programs that are achieving integration, as well as barriers to integration. You can watch the recording from the public meetings here.

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

Upcoming Meetings

8thInternational Conference on Hepatitis Care in Substance Users | September 11-13, 2019 

Montréal, Canada

The International Network on Hepatitis in Substance Users (INHSU) is an international, not-for-profit, member-based organization dedicated to scientific knowledge exchange, education, and advocacy focused on hepatitis C (HCV) prevention and care with people who use drugs. The conference covers the latest advances on HCV epidemiology, management and treatment of viral hepatitis among people who use drugs. Through the dissemination of scientific knowledge, the conference aims to contribute to the WHO’s goal of elimination hepatitis C by 2030. Registration deadline, August 24, 2019. 

Call for Presentations – The RX Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit | April 13 – 16, 2020

Nashville, TN 

This summit is the largest national collaboration of professionals from local, state and federal agencies, business, academia, clinicians, treatment providers, counselors, educators, state and national leaders, law enforcement/public safety, and advocate impacted by the opioid crisis. 

Visit the submission site before the deadline, August 23, 2019.

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 

Research Data Analyst III (Assessment Coordinator)STD Control Branch, California DPH

The Data Analyst will assess patient demographics, clinical infrastructure, hepatitis C screening policies and practices, and other key variables in clinical safety net and community-based settings in California to inform hepatitis C screening interventions. The Analyst will be responsible for management and maintenance of the statewide hepatitis C registry, producing summaries of state and local hepatitis C surveillance data and epidemiologic trends, as well as setting-specific findings from clinical and non-clinical settings to describe the hepatitis C landscape in California. 

Prevention Unit Manager, Injury and Violence Prevention Branch (IVPB), NC DPH 

This position will oversee all injury and violence program areas, including drug overdose, suicide, intimate partner violence, falls and traumatic brain injury, and motor vehicle crashes. IVPB monitors injuries and injury-related death across the state and has been involved in overdose response in NC since early 2000s. 

Senior Manager, Drug User HealthNASTAD

This position plays a vital role in expanding the organization’s capacity to address the impacts of the intersecting crises of drug use, HIV, and hepatitis in community and public health settings, particularly within state and local health departments. The Senior Manager’s core activities will support the advancement of NASTAD’s domestic programmatic efforts to assist health departments and communities by providing technical assistance and training on effective drug user health strategies and connecting people who inject drugs to HIV and hepatitis prevention and treatment programs.

Request for Information:

NASTAD is looking for programs that are testing for HBV and/or HCV in Emergency Departments (preferably opt-out). If you or your partners are working with partners to support ED testing and would be presenting on this during an upcoming webinar, please email hepatitis@nastad.org

A jurisdiction reached out because they are exploring the possibility of offering hepatitis B testing in prison (and possibly jails as well) and they are curious how other jurisdictions are handling hepatitis B testing in state correctional facilities, including what tests are ordered, criteria for testing, who pays, and if vaccinations are offered. If you have done this in your program and have resources/lessons learned to share, please email hepatitis@nastad.org.

Tool of the Month

The Caring Ambassadors released a video titled, ‘The Time is Now.’The animated message tells a story about how treatment access restrictions have changed, and how access to a cure is a patient right. Take a look and share with your networks to take another step towards eliminating HCV. 

News Bulletin

Articles of interest:

Alternative Hepatitis Testing Tools Facilitate WHO’s Goal of Hepatitis Elimination

To achieve WHO’s ambitious goals to eliminate hepatitis by 2030, experts have called for broad-scale hepatitis testing. Several alternative testing tools (point-of-care (POC) tests and dried blood spots (DBSs)), have emerged as alternatives to gold standard immunoassays that require access to sophisticated clinical laboratories and are playing a critical role in helping advance the WHO’s goal.

Assessing the Burden of Illness of Chronic Hepatitis C and the Impact of Direct-Acting Antiviral Use on Healthcare Costs in Medicaid(American Journal of Managed Care)

Medicaid claims data from 2012 for nonelderly adult enrollees with chronic HCV in 16 states were used to estimate the burden of HCV in Medicaid. Annual measures of health services utilization and cost for patients with HCV were compared with a control group of patients without HCV exactly matched on a robust set of individual characteristics and stratified according to liver disease severity, Medicaid eligibility group, and plan type. 

What Convinced Florida Republicans to Expand a Needle Exchange Program?

“Governor Ron DeSantis signed the Infectious Disease Elimination Act, effective statewide in Florida July 1 as part of an effort to ease the local opioid crisis and resulting health issues. Florida is the latest red state to pass a law permitting needle exchanges.”

Congratulations Corner

Lauren Canary Named Director of the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable

Many of you know Lauren Canary as your project officer for CDC's 1702 cooperative agreement but we are excited to share that she was named the new Director for the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable (NVHR). Lauren is excited to use her experience to elevate the voices of those most directly impacted by viral hepatitis and empower those marginalized by the healthcare system in the U.S. Congratulations, Lauren and we look forward to working with you in this new role!!!! Contact Lauren at lauren@nvhr.org