Hepatitis Happenings and Updates

By Jasmine West December 10, 2020

CONGRATULATIONS!

On behalf of NASTAD’s Hepatitis Team, congratulations for all of your hard work to complete the application for PS2-2103 Integrated Viral Hepatitis Surveillance and Prevention Funding for Health Departments. Despite, the significant and ongoing competing priorities you each were faced with you and your teams persevered and got those applications in. Please know that NASTAD’s Hepatitis Team is working with CDC’s Division of Viral Hepatitis in preparation to support your technical assistance needs related to the upcoming hepatitis cooperative agreement. Until then, we hope everyone will take much deserved time for rest and reflection as we move into the new year.

NASTAD Updates

Hepatitis C Patient Navigation Training

Join us on December 14th from 1:00 – 4:00 PM ET! NASTAD and our colleagues, Diana Diaz Muñoz and Marie P. Bresnahan from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, for this interactive online training that will provide a basic overview of hepatitis C, the need for patient navigation to eliminate hepatitis C, as well as an introduction to patient navigations steps: outreach, testing, linkage to care, treatment and liver health after cure.

This training is intended or service providers, such as patient navigators, care coordinators, caseworkers, test counselors, and other prevention counselors. To join the training, please register here.

Still time to apply! NASTAD’s Minority Leadership Program (MLP)

MLP serves as a space, rooted in social justice, for health department staff of color to engage in critical conversations about job advancement; overcoming institutional barriers to equity; managing emotions and burnout; identifying racial and gender-based microaggressions and triggers; successful staff and project management; effective communication; and more. In its seventh cycle, MLP serves as a space, rooted in social justice, for health department staff of color to engage in critical conversations about job advancement; overcoming institutional barriers to equity; managing emotions and burnout; identifying racial and gender-based microaggressions and triggers; successful staff and project management; effective communication; and more.

NASTAD recognizes the need to increase the capacity of emerging leaders of color in health departments and equip them with skills, mentors, and introspection to advance their varied personal career trajectories. Click here for a more in-depth overview and click here to apply.

Please note that MLP sessions are virtual this year as we prioritize safety, caution, and public health while navigating the COVID-19 pandemic.  

COVID-19 Impact on Viral Hepatitis Care – Results of a Public Survey

NASTAD, in collaboration with the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable (NVHR), the Hepatitis Education Project (HEP), Hep B United, and Hepatitis B Foundation, and HepVu launched a survey to measure the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on viral hepatitis, and the experiences of clinical providers, community-based organizations, and health departments during COVID-19. The results show significant reduction in viral hepatitis testing, vaccination, linkage to care, and outreach across all settings, and offer suggestions on the top resources needed to support these essential hepatitis programs.

Additional Updates

Health Insurance Costs Impacting Shoppers Living with Hepatitis B

The Hepatitis B Foundation released a new report: Health Insurance Costs Impacting Shoppers Living with Hepatitis B, that is designed to help those living with chronic hepatitis B and their caregivers make informed decisions when choosing health insurance plans.

The online report summarizes an analysis of over 280 plans in 14 states sold on the health insurance marketplace in 2019 and 2020, identifying trends and practices that may significantly increase a person’s out-of-pocket costs for hepatitis B treatment. Click here to read the full report.

Upcoming webinars/events:

Hepatitis C Patient Navigation Training
NASTAD & NYC Department of Health
December 14th, 1:00 - 4:00 PM EST
Join us for an interactive online training that will provide a basic overview of hepatitis C, the need for patient navigation to eliminate hepatitis C, as well as an introduction to patient navigations steps: outreach, testing, linkage to care, treatment and liver health after cure. Click here to register.

Working to Eliminate Viral Hepatitis
O’Neil Institute, NVHR, and the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation
December 14th at 1:00 PM ET
Join these roundtable conversations for the opportunity to collaborate with other public health leaders around the United States, and to share insights and strategies on viral hepatitis elimination efforts. Participants will join from jurisdictions at various stages of elimination plan development and implementation in order to learn from each other and work towards achieving HBV and HCV elimination.

A Global Tour of Options for Scaling-Up HCV Testing to Reach Elimination Goals
December 15th, 10:00 – 11:30 AM ET
This webinar will explore the "how to" of implementing HCV testing programs, diving into the questions above and the details of how testing programs work. Speakers from Egypt, Georgia, Rwanda, Viet Nam, India, and Mexico will present on diverse testing program models, including a) point-of-care antibody testing/laboratory-based PCR testing, b) laboratory-based antibody/PCR testing, c) point-of-care antibody/PCR testing, or d) a mix of the above. Presenters will share the nuts and bolts of how these different strategies are operationalized and will also discuss the effectiveness of the program, financing and costs, and next steps for improvement or expansion. Click here to register.

Universal Screening for Hep C
Empire Liver Foundation & NYC Dept of Health
December 16th, 4:00-5:00 PM ET
This live webinar will provide an overview of the new universal screening recommendations for Hepatitis C and give examples from two sites on how to implement the new testing guidelines at a hospital and a community health center. Click here to register.

Archived Webinars

World AIDS Day 2020
NASTAD, UT Health, and Texas DSHS
December 1, 2020 
In observance of World AIDS Day, NASTAD hosted a webinar discussing the partnership between UT Health - San Antonio's TACKLE HIV/HCV in People of Color Program and Texas DSHS, as well as NASTAD’s contributions to the federal Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative and its intersection with viral hepatitis elimination. The webinar included presentations from Vittoria Criss (Texas DSHS), Trisha Melhado (UT Health - San Antonio TACKLE Program), and Angela Johnson (NASTAD). Please click here to check out the recording.  

Upcoming Meetings (cancellation/postponements italicized)   

2021 Hawaii State Harm Reduction Conference
Hosted Virtually January 7-9, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
This year’s conference theme is “The Future is Harm Reduction.” Sessions will explore how current societal issues can be aided by a harm reduction approach to mitigate the complexities individuals and communities content with as they advocate for social change. Register at www.harmreductionhawaii.com. The registration page has info on all the great sessions, including one on hep and HIV elimination.

9th International Conference on Hepatitis Care in Substance Users *postponed to 2021
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. 

Publications:

Racism is a Public Health Crisis, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health Magazine, Fall 2020 Edition
Hopkins Bloomberg Public Health magazine explores complex and compelling narratives of public health. This edition dives into several articles that acknowledge and address racism as the public health crisis that it is and takes readers through topics of systemic equity, addressing Black women’s health issues, racism’s effect on Black men, and many more.  

HIV Treatment can Facilitate Hepatitis C Care in Some Cases, HCP Live, November 2020
“People with HIV are disproportionately co-infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) and experience accelerated liver-related mortality…Patients receiving care for HIV may be able to facilitate HCV co-infection treatment.” Click here to read the full published paper in The Journal of Infection Diseases.

Over 25% of Women with Hep C were Diagnosed During Pregnancy, HepMag, November 2020
“Despite new guidelines, too few infants born to mothers with hepatitis C were screened for the virus. Researchers reported that more than a quarter of pregnant women with HCV were diagnosed during a pregnancy screening, but less than one third of infants born to women with hep C were appropriately tested or the virus.”

Podcast: Viral Hepatitis Data From AASLD 2020 – Rapid Recap, 2020 Annual Meeting o the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases
“In this episode, Dr. Terrault discusses results from key viral hepatitis studies reported at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) 2020 annual conference, The Liver Meeting Digital Experience, including new findings on HBV treatment and management, hepatocellular carcinoma risk, and emerging approaches to HCV care in underserved populations.” Click here to listen to this episode.