May is Hepatitis Awareness Month
April 30 2018
The month of May is designated as Hepatitis Awareness Month in the United States, and May 19th is Hepatitis Testing Day.
According to Health and Human Services HHS.gov, in the United States, an estimated 850,000 – 2.2 million persons are chronically infected with the hepatitis B virus. New cases of HBV infection in the United States had been decreasing until recently. In 2013, there were an estimated 19,800 acute cases of HBV infection. That is an increase of over 5% compared to 2012. This is the first time in more than 20 years that acute HBV, Hepatitis B cases increased. This increase in new HBV infections is a very concerning trend which The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has determined is linked to the ongoing opioid abuse epidemic in the United States.
In the United States, it is estimated that about 3.5 million persons are chronically infected with HCV, Hepatitis C. The actual number may be as low as 2.5 million or as high as 4.7 million. Research shows that 75 percent of all people living with HCV were born between 1945 and 1965 so CDC and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommend that all persons born between 1945 and 1965 be tested for HCV regardless of risk history. Globally, HCV is a common blood-borne infection with an estimated 130-150 million people chronically infected according to the World Health Organization.\
How is HCV transmitted?
Because HCV is primarily spread through contact with infected blood, people who inject drugs are at increased risk for HCV infection. Much less often, HCV transmission occurs through sexual contact with an HCV-infected partner, especially among persons with multiple sex partners and men who have sex with men. HCV transmission can also occur through accidental needle sticks, breaches in infection control practices in healthcare facilities, and from mother to child at the time of birth. Currently in the U.S., healthcare related transmission of HCV is rare.
The CDC estimates that half of people with chronic HBV are unaware of their infection. The only way to find out if you have a hepatitis B infection is to get an HBV test. All it takes is a simple blood test. Being aware of your hepatitis B status is important because treatments are available that reduce the chance of developing liver disease and liver cancer. You can also protect your family members by getting them vaccinated. Also, Hepatitis B testing is a covered preventive service under many health plans.
Your Avenue 360 Healthcare Provider is happy to answer any questions you may have about Hepatitis or any other health concerns, prevention and more.
Avenue 360 provides testing services for those that wish to tested.
The information contained in this Avenue 360 Web site is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment, and Avenue 360 recommends consultation with your Avenue 360 doctor or health care professional
The information contained in this Avenue 360 Web site is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment, and Avenue 360 recommends consultation with your Avenue 360 doctor or health care professional.