Hepatitis Happenings and Updates

By Jasmine West June 25, 2019

Hepatitis Elimination Planning

This Hepatitis Awareness Month, two states hosted viral hepatitis elimination planning meetings. The first convened in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on May 1 with over 100 stakeholders from across the state to learn from the experience of local, state, and federal partners, to share elimination strategies, and identify next steps for eliminating hepatitis in Pennsylvania.

Similarly, Louisiana Department of Health hosted their hepatitis elimination planning meeting on May 16, attended by national and local leaders in hepatitis care and research. Participants discussed approaches to screening for and treating chronic HCV infection to inform the state’s HCV elimination plan.

As your state or local jurisdiction is either considering starting the process or well underway in the release or implementation of your elimination plan, we encourage you to read these summaries and feel inspired and motivated to continue working closely with your partners at the state and national level on your path towards elimination.

World Hepatitis Day, Sunday July 28, 2019 

Worldwide, 300 million people are living with viral hepatitis and are unaware of their status. Without finding the undiagnosed and linking them to care, millions will continue to suffer, and lives will be lost. On World Hepatitis Day, 28 July, the World Hepatitis Alliance calls on people from across the world to take action and raise awareness to find the “missing millions”. #worldhepatitisday

NASTAD Updates

#HepChat19

CDC’s Division of Viral Hepatitis, The Hepatitis B Foundation, and NASTAD hosted a Twitter Chat on June 13 to highlight work that took place throughout the month of May for Hepatitis Awareness Month. Partners shared highlights, photos, and successful strategies for engaging community partners and raising awareness of hepatitis B and C throughout the month of May. You can see the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #HepChat19.

Resources

This month, HepVu spoke with two experts in Kentucky and Massachusetts about their efforts to address Hepatitis C and the impact of the opioid epidemic at state and local levels. 

Read their new Q&As about targeted interventions:

Mapping Hepatitis Elimination

A growing number of hepatitis elimination projects are being established across the United States. These projects implement the National Viral Hepatitis Action Plan’s call for more coordinated and collaborative efforts aimed at elimination. A wide range of stakeholders including states, local jurisdictions, health systems, and non-governmental organizations are leading and engaging in these efforts across a variety of settings. To help keep track of these promising efforts, HHS developed the map above

Upcoming webinars:

NASTAD will host a virtual town hall on June 26 at 2 PM EST to showcase results and gather community feedback. Viral hepatitis programs are strongly encouraged to participate. 

Archived Webinars & Recordings:

Presented by NASTAD: June 20, 2019

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

Fact sheets & toolkits: 

JUNE IS PRIDEMONTH! #PrideMonth #Pride2019 @CDCHep

While hepatitis A and B vaccines are recommended for men who have sex with men, vaccine rates among this group remain low. CDC would like to take this time to remind you to vaccinate men who have sex with men for hepatitis A, which is particularly important during the ongoing outbreaks in multiple states. CDC has developed the following resources which can be tailored with local information, if so desired.

CDC Resources, can be tailored with local information, if so desired:

“Get Vaccinated” messaging & finder

Additional Hepatitis Resources for Pride month

Upcoming Meetings

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 

Viral Hepatitis Prevention, Policy, and Community Manager, Philadelphia DOH

The VHCC will be responsible for the coordination of activities related to viral hepatitis prevention, including outreach, training, education and collaboration and work in close coordination with hepatitis surveillance activities. Closing date, August 12. 

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.

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:

Seeking Rapid HCV Testing Protocols 

Wisconsin Division of Public Health is requesting information from other states and jurisdictions for Rapid HCV Testing Protocol. If you are willing to share this in one form or another (template, excerpts, etc), please reach out to Kailynn MitchellHepatitis C Surveillance Specialistand copy hepatitis@nastad.org.

Tool of the Month

Caring Ambassadors launched their new hepatitis C and incarceration brochure series earlier this month. They are available for immediate download on their website.

The series includes:

News Bulletin

Articles of interest:

Treating Opioid Use Disorder Along with Hep C is Cost Effective in Those with HIV

Providing on-site treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD) with buprenorphine/naloxone, along with direct-acting antiviral (DAA) treatment for hepatitis C virus is cost effective among those who have HCV/HIV coinfection. Researchers used mathematical modeling to analyze the benefits of treating with buprenorphine/naloxone on-site. 

Hepatitis C more stigmatizing then HIV: gay men’s attitudes towards hepatitis C

“Qualitative research with HIV-positive gay and bisexual men in Australia who had been cured of hepatitis C infection revealed that having hepatitis C was more stigmatising than HIV infection. While being a member of certain social and sexual networks increased the chances of reinfection with hepatitis C, leaving these networks and abstinence from drug use could lead to social isolation.”

Does Medicare cover hepatitis C treatment?

“Coverage for hepatitis C treatment is determined by what Medicare plan you are on and what drugs are on that plan’s formulary. These plans differ in various states and regions, and someone living in one part of the country may pay significantly more than someone may from a nearby region.” More information is provided for eligibility for various cost-savings plans.  

Congratulations Corner

Congratulations to Thaddeus Pham, Hawaii’s Viral Hepatitis Coordinator and Co-Director of Hep Free Hawaii, who is joining the 2019 Bloomberg Fellows Cohort with the Bloomberg American Health Initiative at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health! The Bloomberg Fellows Program is a groundbreaking initiative that provides world-class public health training to individuals engaged with organizations tackling critical challenges facing the United States: addiction and overdose, environmental challenges, obesity and the food system, risks to adolescent health and violence. We are so proud of you Thaddeus!

We want to celebrate you too! Share announcements about achievements by viral hepatitis health department staff and we’ll highlight them in our newsletter. Announcements should be sent to hepatitis@nastad.org with subject line “Newsletter - Hep Staff Achievements”.