May 19, 2013 marks Hepatitis Testing Day.
According to the CDC:
• About 3 million adults in the U.S. are infected with the hepatitis C virus, most are “baby boomers” born between 1945 and 1965. African Americans have a substantially higher rate of chronic hepatitis C infection than Caucasians and other ethnic groups.
• Up to 3 in 4 people don’t know they’re infected with hepatitis C, so they aren’t receiving the medical care they need to prevent serious liver damage. Latinos are less likely to be tested than individuals of other races/ethnicities even in the presence of a known risk factor.
• Every year, approximately 15,000 people in the United States die from hepatitis C-related liver disease.
• An estimated 800,000 – 1.4 million people are living with chronic hepatitis B infection. Asian and Pacific Islanders (APIs) make up less than 5% of the total population in the United States, but account for more than 50% of Americans living with chronic hepatitis B virus.
• Over time, approximately 15%–25% of people with chronic hepatitis B develop serious liver problems, including liver damage, cirrhosis, liver failure, and even liver cancer.
• Approximately 3,000 people in the U.S. die from hepatitis B-related liver disease. Chronic hepatitis B and associated liver cancer in APIs is one of the most serious health disparities in the United States.
Find out ways in which you can acknowledge the day from the links below:
- Learn more about hepatitis through the CDC’s Know More Hepatitis campaign and other resources from its Division of Viral Hepatitis. To learn about the campaign, click here.
- CDC recommends that anyone born from 1945-1965 get tested at least once in their lifetime for hepatitis C. To view a video about the CDC recommendations on testing, click here.
- To view a list of who should be tested for Hepatitis B, click here.
- Get tested for hepatitis B and C. If you feel you are at risk of hepatitis, try this online hepatitis risk assessment from CDC. To access the survey, click here.
- CDC has developed tools to help you spread the word on Hepatitis Testing Day on May 19 and beyond. Some of these tools are free web buttons and badges you can place on your website; put them on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or other social media to help raise awareness. To access these tools, click here.
Transmission of Hepatitis C Virus Among People Who Inject Drugs: Viral Stability and Association With Drug Preparation Equipment
To view this article from the Journal of Infectious Diseases, click here.