In the United States, there are more than five million people living with chronic viral hepatitis and over 50,000 new infections each year of hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Many people don’t know they are infected. Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver and is often caused by the hepatitis A, B, or C virus. Hepatitis B and C infections can become chronic, or lifelong, and can lead to serious health problems such as liver damage, liver cancer, and even death.

The recently released National Viral Hepatitis Action Plan 2017-2020 is the newest update to the plan for fighting viral hepatitis in the United States. The Action Plan helps to identify opportunities to support the nation’s response to combat viral hepatitis such as new and improved strategies for prevention, care, and treatment.
The Action Plan outlines strategies to achieve four major goals and includes indicators to measure progress.
  • Goal 1: Prevent new viral hepatitis infections
  • Goal 2: Reduce deaths and improve the health of people living with viral hepatitis
  • Goal 3: Reduce viral hepatitis health disparities
  • Goal 4: Coordinate, monitor, and report on implementation of viral hepatitis activities

The Action Plan recognizes that everyone has a role to play in the fight against viral hepatitis. Confirm with your doctor that you have been vaccinated against hepatitis A and B. You can also take the CDC hepatitis risk assessment or talk to your doctor to find out if you should get tested.

ADHS works with local, state, and federal partners in implementing the goals of the Action Plan to fight viral hepatitis in Arizona. Some of these efforts include tracking cases of viral hepatitis to monitor where it’s occurring and who is affected, ensuring babies born to hepatitis B positive mothers receive proper treatment, increasing awareness among those at risk for viral hepatitis, and providing education and resources to the public and healthcare providers.