Hepatitis Happenings and Updates

By Jasmine West May 6, 2020

NASTAD Updates: 

Hepatitis Awareness Month 

Celebrating Hepatitis Awareness Month and Hepatitis Testing Day 

The month of May is designated as Hepatitis Awareness Month and May 19th marks the 9th annual Hepatitis Testing Day in the U.S. Check out CDC’s Hepatitis Awareness Month and Testing Day homepage, which is where you can find a summary of the ABCs of Viral Hepatitis and a new feature each week of May about hepatitis A, B and C. You can also access free tools in the Resource Center that can be helpful in supporting your awareness activities and testing events. 

Hepatitis Testing Day Twitter Chat Join the conversation – #HepChat20 & HepAware2020 

Join us @NASTAD, @HepBUnited, and @NVHR1 for a Twitter Chat on Hepatitis Testing Day, May 19th at 2 PM EDT.  Use #HepChat20 to join! Featured partners will represent health departments, harm reduction organizations, national and local coalitions, patient and provider perspectives, and more. Topics will address the importance of testing and linkage to care, efforts around elimination, combating stigma and discrimination, and the importance of engaging community partners, patients, and others in testing and elimination efforts.

Use the hashtags #HepChat20 and #HepAware2020 to get involved and stay connected while sharing information on social media. Follow NASTAD on TwitterInstagramFacebook, and LinkedIn.  

Hepatitis Awareness Month Webinar

We kicked off Hepatitis Awareness Month with Hep B United to discuss innovative, online strategies to raise awareness about hepatitis throughout May. CDC’s Division of Viral Hepatitis shared resources that are available to promote testing. Community partners provided an overview of activities including the impact of COVID-19 on programs, strategies to transition community testing events to virtual activities, increasing social media presence, online hepatitis B education, and discuss their plans for this year’s Hepatitis Awareness Month and Testing Day. Click here for the recording and slides.   

National Adult Hepatitis B Vaccination Awareness Day Webinar

On April 30, 2020, in observance of National Adult Hepatitis B Vaccination Awareness Day, NASTAD joined leaders from CDC’s Division of Viral Hepatitis, Beth Israel Medical Center in Boston, and Hepatitis Education Project in a webinar about the importance of expanded adult HBV vaccination. The webinar was hosted Hepatitis B Foundation and Hep B United in partnership with Adult Vaccine Access Coalition, Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations, National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable, The AIDS Institute, NASTAD, Hepatitis Education Project. The webinar and slides are archived at Hep B United’s website.

NASTAD Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates and Resources, Updated

NASTAD continues to closely monitor the community outbreaks of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the United States and the rapidly evolving public health responses to contain and mitigate the infection. We are committed to providing NASTAD members with potentially useful information, as it becomes available, to help ensure the continuity of essential programming and the protection of people living with and vulnerable to HIV infection and viral hepatitis. At this time, NASTAD leadership has decided to postpone, cancel, or make virtual all NASTAD convenings/meetings from now through August 31.

If you have any questions, please email covid19@NASTAD.org

COVID-19 Request for Informationresponse requested by May 7

To better understand the needs of hepatitis programs during the ongoing pandemic, NASTAD kindly requests that viral hepatitis programs respond to the following request for information (RFI): NASTAD Hepatitis COVID-19 RFI.

The RFI should take about 10 minutes to complete. This information is critical to assist in NASTAD’s congressional and administration engagement on behalf of health departments. Only aggregate data will be shared. 

HepTAC, NASTAD’s online technical assistance (TA) and capacity building center for health department hepatitis programs, continues to be operational and receiving your TA requests, including those related to COVID-19. The primary goal of HepTAC is to build state and local technical expertise to enhance health department capacity to eliminate viral hepatitis, if you don’t have a username, please email Hepatitis@nastad.org

Join us at NASTAD—open positions!

Senior Associate — Washington, DC
NASTAD is seeking a Senior Associate for the Health Systems Integration team. The Senior Associate, Health Systems Integration provides administrative and substantive support for NASTAD’s technical assistance and capacity building assistance for Ryan White HIV/AIDS Programs (RWHAP), with a focus on Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) initiative activities. This position works closely with entire Health Systems Integration and Health Care Access teams to support programmatic activities.
 
Manager — Washington, DC
NASTAD is seeking a Manger for the Policy & Legislative Affairs team. The Manager, Policy & Legislative Affairs plays a vital role in managing the development and implementation of hepatitis-related federal appropriations strategies, including for the NASTAD convened Hepatitis Appropriations Partnership, and legislation related to hepatitis prevention, care and treatment issues.  This position manages the day-to-day activities necessary to implement hepatitis-related federal legislative and regulatory goals.  The Manager also interfaces with governmental agencies, national organizations, coalitions and other non-governmental organizations to promote NASTAD’s legislative and policy agenda.

Associate — Washington, DC
NASTAD is seeking an Associate for the Prevention team. The Associate, Prevention will support NASTAD’s Capacity Building Assistance (CBA) program in providing technical assistance to health departments in the southern U.S. to advance efforts related to integrated HIV prevention activities and structural interventions.

Manager — Washington, DC
NASTAD is seeking a Manger for the Health Care Access team. The Manager, Health Care Access plays a vital role in expanding the organization’s capacity and priority of addressing the impact of HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis programs within health departments. Under direction from the Associate Director, Health Care Access, the Manager will play a key role the Health Care Access programs technical assistance efforts, having a strong voice in the development of NASTAD’s cooperative agreement with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB) and Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) initiative activities.

Senior Associate — Washington, DC
NASTAD is seeking a Senior Associate for the Prevention team. The Senior Associate, Prevention will work primarily on NASTAD’s CDC-funded Capacity Building Assistance (CBA) project to provide technical assistance to HDs implementing PS18-1802, and to CBOs implementing PS15-1502 and PS17-1704. The position is responsible for providing technical assistance and training related to social determinants of health, HIV stigma and cultural humility/responsiveness.

Federal Updates

CDC/DVH Forecast for the 2021 Integrated Viral Hepatitis Cooperative Agreement Released

April 21, 2020

The forecast for the revised release of DVH’s combined hepatitis prevention and surveillance cooperative agreement is now on Grants.gov. The anticipated post date for the Integrated Viral Hepatitis Surveillance and Prevention Funding for Health Departments announcement is September 1, 2020 with an estimated due date of December 1, 2020 and an estimated start date of May 1, 2021. Use the following link to access the newest forecast.

CDC Releases Vital Signs Report and Updated Adult Hepatitis C Screening Recommendations

On April 9, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Division of Viral Hepatitis (DVH), released its Vital Signs Report on Newly Reported Cases of Hepatitis C – United States, 2009—2018 and Updated Hepatitis C Testing Recommendations, 2020. Click here to read more and be sure to check out the resources for their new, “Know More Hepatitis,” campaign that encourages all adults to get tested for hepatitis C.

Request for Comment: The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing reclassification, from Class III to Class II, of hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibody tests (Docket No. FDA-2020-N-1082).  The FDA is also proposing reclassification from Class III to Class II of nucleic acid-based HCV ribonucleic acid tests (Docket No. FDA-2020-N-1088).  NASTAD supports reclassification for both and will be submitting comments to the FDA.  Reclassifying HCV antibody tests and nucleic acid tests (NAT) as Class II devices, with special controls, reduces regulatory burden to manufacturers to bring new tests to market, or to adapt already approved tests, such as for additional sample types or intended uses. Comments close on June 1, 2020 via regulations.gov

Deadline Extended! Request for Information Regarding Rural Maternal Health Care: the deadline has been extended to submit comments to a Request for Information (RFI) to seek public comments regarding rural maternal and infant health care. CMS is working to develop and refine programs and policies that ensure rural women have access to high quality maternal and infant health care that results in optimal health outcomes. We are releasing a RFI to learn about opportunities to improve access, quality, and outcomes for women in rural communities before, during, and after pregnancy. Specifically, we are seeking information about how to reduce maternal health disparities between rural and urban environments, and racial and ethnic disparities within rural environments. The RFI also requests comments on the readiness of rural providers to respond to obstetric emergencies (emergencies related to pregnancy, birth, and after birth) in rural areas. Deadline is Sunday, May 31 at 11:59 PM ET. For further information, contact RuralMaternalRFI@cms.hhs.gov with “RFI” in the subject line.

Additional Updates:

USPSTF: Screening for Hepatitis B in Adolescents and Adults 

Deadline for Comments: June 1, 2020

On May 5, 2020, the Task Force posted a draft recommendation statement and draft evidence review on screening for hepatitis B virus infection in adolescents and adults. They are available for public comment from May 5, 2020 through June 1, 2020. The draft evidence review summarizes the scientific literature the Task Force used to develop its draft recommendation statement. The grade B recommendation, if finalized, allows for reimbursement of HBV screening of adolescents and adults.

Upcoming webinars/events:  

Trauma and Drug User Health, NASTAD | Thursday, May 7 at 2:00 PM EST

NASTAD’s Drug User Health and Health Care Access teams invite you to attend a webinar on the intersection of Trauma, Trauma-Informed Approaches, and Drug User. This webinar will provide attendees with information on trauma, drug use, examples of trauma-informed care (TIC) in practice, and highlight how these approaches can be utilized to build resiliency among Syringe Services Program (SSP) and drug user health program participants and staff. Registration is available here

NASTAD & the Latino Commission on AIDS commemorate National Hispanic Hepatitis Awareness Day | Friday, May 15 at 2 pm EST

Details, including registration, are forthcoming. Check out the Latino AIDS Commission’s first webinar on Hepatitis Prevention and Vaccination scheduled for May 13, 2020 at 2:00 PM ET by registering here.

#HepFreeNYC Twitter Chat | Thursday, May 14 at 1:00 PM EST

Join the 8th annual Hep Free NYC Awareness Event, #HepFreeNYC Twitter Chat, commemorating Hepatitis Awareness Month, National Hepatitis Testing Day, and Hispanic Hepatitis Awareness Day. Join the chat to showcase your work and accomplishments! View list of confirmed Hep Champions and Supporters here.

Texas Perinatal Hepatitis B Virtual Summit | June 25, 2020 from 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM EST

Experts will share, discuss, and recommend strategies to prevent and decrease the incidence of hepatitis B transmission and improve the care of those at risk for perinatal hepatitis B. Registration is free and CE credit is offered for multiple disciplines. 

Empire Liver Foundation (ELF) & NYC HCV Clinical Provider Training

ELF is an association of New York State liver specialists who are dedicated to increasing awareness and providing education to health care providers and patients with liver disease. In 2014, NYC Council funded ELF to build clinical capacity to provide care and treatment for hepatitis B and C in NYC. ELF and the NYC Health Department Viral Hepatitis Program collaborated to develop the Hepatitis Clinical Training Program. This 4-part CME/CNE/CEU training series is designed to prepare practicing MD, DO, NP, and PA clinical providers to provide Hepatitis C (HCV) treatment & care and will launch on May 7th, 2020. Please complete the registration form before starting the webinar series. After completing the webinar series, please contact meg.chappell@empireliverfoundation.org to receive instructions for receiving your CE credit.

Archived Webinars

COVID-19 and People Living with Viral Hepatitis, World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA)

Click here to listen to this recording from WHA President and NOhep Medical Visionary, Dr. Su Wang and her fellow NOhep Medical Visionaries Dr. Robert Gish and Dr. Kosh Agarwal as they discuss COVID-19 and what it means for people living with viral hepatitis.

Upcoming Meetings

SYNChronicity, The National Conference for HIV, HCV, STI, and LGBTQ Health | *New Date: June 23-25 (Virtual) 

This conference brings together medical professionals, service providers, government officials, and health advocates to sync effective approaches to address HIV, HCV, STI, and LGBTQ health in the changing and dynamic health care landscape, with a focus on underserved racial/ethnic minorities and LGBTQ communities. Click here for registration information.   

Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) | June 28 – July 2  *Cancelled

Seattle, WA  

Conference attendees meet and share their expertise in surveillance and epidemiology as well as best practices in a broad range of areas including informatics, infectious diseases, substance use, immunizations, environmental health, occupational health, chronic disease, injury control, and maternal and child health.

2020 World Indigenous Peoples' Conference on Viral Hepatitis | Sept. 23-26

Saskatoon, Canada 

Indigenous people, including those with lived and living experience of viral hepatitis, clinicians, researchers and policy-makers will gather in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, September 23-26, 2020 for the third World Indigenous Peoples’ Conference on Viral Hepatitis (WIPCVH). More information here

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.

Articles:

It’s a Terrible Time for COVID-19 to Strike HIV, STI and Hepatitis Programs

NAACHO collected survey results from local health departments to asses the impact of COVID-19 on their HIV, STI, and viral hepatitis programs and communities. Click here to read preliminary findings on NACCHO’s webpage.  

HCV Prevalence in the United States Stratified by Sex, Birth Cohort, and Race | Hepatology Communications, March 2020

Researchers modeled state-level estimates of HCV prevalence among US adults by sex, birth cohort, and race during 2013-2016.

Hepatitis C reinfection after successful antiviral treatment among people who inject drugs | Journal of Hepatology, November 2019

‘HCV reinfection following successful treatment can compromise treatment outcomes. This systematic review assessed the rate of HCV reinfection following treatment among people with recent drug use and those receiving opioid agonist therapy.’

Hepatitis, HCV, HBV & Fatty Liver at CROI 2020 | April 29, 2020

Click to see conference reports specific to viral hepatitis that were presented at this years CROI Conference held in Boston, MA in March.

Blog:

2020 Hepatitis C Medicaid Affinity Group In-Person Convening: Summary and Highlights

April 15, 2020 | HHS

‘Medicaid Affinity Group participants networked, shared expertise, and developed state-specific action plans at the third annual in-person convening. Click here to read more.  

From our team to yours,

This pandemic has brought forth unexpected challenges to each and every one of us. We wish everyone health and well-being as we continue to move forward. Please don’t hesitate to share your experiences, concerns, or send requests to hepatitis@nastad.org or any member of the Hepatitis Team.

In solidarity—

NASTAD’s Hepatitis Team