docsAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 4 million Americans are living with viral hepatitis and more than 20,000 die every year from hepatitis-related infections.  Viral hepatitis is the leading cause of liver cancer and the most common reason for liver transplantation.

Two types of viral hepatitis, B and C, are the cause of a silent epidemic because people can have the virus for years and not know they are infected.  Hepatitis A and B can both be prevented by a vaccine.  While there is no vaccine for hepatitis C, new anti-viral treatments show promising results.

The CDC recommends people born from 1945-1965 should get tested for hepatitis C.  People born in Asia or the Pacific Islands or whose parents were born there should be tested for hepatitis B.  Take the CDC hepatitis risk assessment to find out if you should get tested for viral hepatitis.  It is important for people to know their overall health status because treating diseases such as hepatitis can be complex, so if you are in this higher risk group, you should get tested.

May 19th is National Hepatitis Testing Day, and you can visit the ADHS website to find out where to get tested.  Governor Doug Ducey signed a proclamation declaring May as Hepatitis Awareness Month in the State of Arizona.  There will be several events held across the state of Arizona to promote hepatitis awareness this month.  You can visit our new hepatitis website to learn more.