Hepatitis Happenings and Updates

By Jasmine West August 5, 2019

NASTAD Updates

Chair’s Challenge: NASTAD Success Stories

In our ongoing efforts to highlight successful health department initiatives aimed at ending the HIV and hepatitis epidemics, NASTAD released an installment of its Success Stories for Hepatitis Awareness Day highlighting linkage and navigation programs in North Carolina and Tennessee.

SHOUT OUT to Lindsey Sizemore, (Viral Hepatitis Program Director, TN) and Christina Caputo, (Hepatitis Program Manager, NC) for taking time to share their state’s success! Read more by clicking below.

Leveraging Bridge Counselors to Develop a Hepatitis C Care Cascade in North Carolina

As the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) increased the availability of free risk-based HCV testing throughout the state to all local health departments and access to HCV treatment increased through the North Carolina Academic Mentorship Program (CHAMP), patient support was identified as a significant gap in care. The viral hepatitis program created a bridge counselor position to help guide people living with HCV through care to cure and help address the barriers that exist across the continuum.

Navigating to Cure: Tennessee’s Viral Hepatitis Case Navigator Program

The Tennessee Department of Health (TNDH) created the Viral Hepatitis Case Navigator program in July 2017 hiring 12 nurse navigators to cover all 13 public health regions to address the rising rates of HCV in the state and address the multitude of barriers to accessing care that people face. The Viral Hepatitis Case Navigators provide navigation to HCV care and treatment services, as well as other supportive services, including mental health, substance use disorder treatment, and insurance enrollment.

Resources

Upcoming Webinars:

Thursday, August 8, 2:00 PM ET

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 outbreaks of hepatitis A happening across the country and a rise in acute hepatitis B in a number of states, it is critical that hepatitis vaccinations reach the right communities. This webinar will provide an update on the multi-state hepatitis A outbreak, an overview of 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 here.

Archived Webinars and Recordings:

Presented by CDC & HRC, July 23, 2019

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Harm Reduction Coalition teamed up to provide this webinar because half of the states in our country have faced a local hepatitis A outbreak. They brought together harm reduction providers, health department officials, and medical providers from across the country to talk about their local harm reduction response to hepatitis A. You can view the slides from our webinar here and watch the recording here.

Presented by AAPCHO, July 30, 2019 

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 promoted opportunities to increase adult hep B vaccinations amongst patients and providers and highlight the need to address hep B within the opioid epidemic.

Presented by HHS, July 30, 2019

During the webinar, key federal partners describe how HHS agencies and grantees work to support SSPs. As laid out in the National Viral Hepatitis Action Plan , successful response to viral hepatitis relies on collaboration between a variety of stakeholders. Syringe service programs are an important focus for partners and coalitions working to address the opioid crisis and infectious diseases.
 

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

Hepatitis C Patient Summit | Hosted by NVHR

On July 29th and 30th, the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable held a first-of-its-kind hepatitis C Patient Summit in Atlanta, GA. The meeting, scheduled to coincide with World Hepatitis Day, brought together national partners and 100 patient advocates from across the country to share their stories, learn new advocacy skills, and identify opportunities to improve hepatitis C prevention and care.

8th International 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

Washington, DC

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

Senior Manager, Drug User Health, NASTAD

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.

Program Analyst HIV, STI, and Viral Hepatitis, NACCHO

Program Analysts are responsible for providing professional support for programmatic and internal activities, including implementing, coordinating, and promoting project activities; identifying and responding to member and team needs; assessing policies and programs; and providing senior level administrative support, as needed. Program Analysts have a foundational understanding of public health principles and practices and familiarity in their designated area of work.

Hepatitis B Elimination Project Coordinator, Philadelphia Department of Public Health

This position will be responsible for coordination of activities related to hepatitis B education, surveillance, and prevention within the Division of Disease Control in the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. Several activities conducted by Project staff will aim to improve HBV testing, treatment, and vaccination access throughout Philadelphia including outreach, training, education and collaboration with appropriate programs to facilitate access to hepatitis services. Additional job announcements from PDPH, Hepatitis B Epidemiologist and Viral Hepatitis Program Manager.  

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.

Management Analyst (NIH Infectious Disease Contractor), Columbus Technologies and Services, Inc.

This position is based in Bethesda, Maryland. Columbus Technologies and Services is seeking a Management Analyst to work onsite with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The contractor will primarily focus on viral hepatitis and coordinate operational and administrative activities related to strategic planning processes, portfolio analysis, program evaluation, reporting activities, personnel and financial management as directed.

Requests 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 Task Force for Global Health (TFGH) recently launched the Coalition for Global Hepatitis Elimination (CGHE) to provide services to assist the planning, implementation and evaluation of national and sub-national programs to eliminate HBV and HCV transmission and disease. Search several resource banks that can be filtered by type, intervention, and virus (i.e. HBV and/or HCV training materials, policy, and data that are specific to harm reduction, vaccination, coinfection, etc.).

News Bulletin

Articles of interest:

A Bold New Approach to Eliminating Hepatitis C as a Public-Health Threat

Alongside Washington state’s hepatitis elimination plan, the state is also increasing hepatitis C awareness and testing for individuals at a high risk for the virus and linking those in need to treatment. By increasing efforts to meet those individuals where they receive services in their communities, they are breaking down existing barriers to testing, effective treatment and the follow-up needed to cure those living with the disease.

Cost-Effectiveness of Scaling up HCV Prevention and Treatment in the US for People Who Inject Drugs

‘Using a health care perspective, researchers employed HCV transmission and disease progression models with cost-effectiveness analysis to examine the cost-effectiveness of HCV therapy in people who inject drugs (PWID), combined with medications-assisted treatment (MAT) and syringe-service programs (SSP), to address the growing HCV epidemic in the United States.’

HIV-Positive Gay Men Harbor Stigma About Contracting Hep C

'A qualitative study of gay and bisexual men living with HIV who had been cured of hepatitis C virus (HCV) found that they tended to harbor more stigmatizing attitudes toward HCV than HIV.’

Congratulations Corner

 

Hep C Free WA’s elimination plan launched last week!

In September 2018, Gov. Jay Inslee issued a directive to develop a plan to prevent transmission of the virus and increase the number of people who are able to access treatment and cure. To reach people affected by HCV, the Hep C Free Washington Plan to Eliminate Hepatitis C calls for enhanced public health efforts, including improvements to community and provider education, preventive services and the early detection of HCV to treat and cure existing infections and curb the onward transmission of the virus.

The plan’s goals include improving the data we have available on HCV, improving access to preventive and health care services, providing education to reduce stigma and improving clinical care for people at risk for or living with HCV. A warm congratulations to Emalie Huriaux, Jon Stockton, and the team in WA state! For more information, reach out to HepCFreeWA@doh.wa.gov.