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Viral Hepatitis

Together on the Pathways to Wellness: Recovery and Efforts to Strengthen Viral Hepatitis Services

Ronald Valdiserri

Throughout September’s observance of National Recovery Month, individuals, organizations, and communities across the nation celebrated recovery from mental health issues and addiction challenges. Given the significant role that drug-using behaviors can play in the transmission of viral hepatitis, and the fact that alcohol intake often worsens liver disease among persons with chronic viral hepatitis, National Recovery…

New Media Communication: Communicating about HIV and Viral Hepatitis in Complex Times

Meico Whitlock

Last month, the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors  (NASTAD) attended the fourth annual Plain Talk in Complex Times conference  in Arlington, Virginia. This year’s theme was “Communicating in a Time of Change.” The conference was hosted by the MAXIMUS Center for Health Literacy  in collaboration with the American Public Health Association  (APHA) and brought together leaders…

FDA Safety Communication: Reducing the Risk of Hepatitis B Reactivation in Patients Using Two Immune-Suppressing and Anti-Cancer Drugs

FDA

On September 25, 2013, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Drug Safety Communication announcing that the FDA has approved changes to the prescribing information of the immune-suppressing and anti-cancer drugs Arzerra (ofatumumab) and Rituxan (rituximab) to add new Boxed Warning information about the risk of reactivation of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. The…

Update on Renewal of Viral Hepatitis Action Plan

VHAP Meeting (cropped)

As we announced this past May, federal partners are working to renew and extend the Action Plan for the Prevention, Care and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis for three more years. Since that announcement, several important activities have been undertaken and I wanted to share this update with readers. To inform the renewal of the plan,…

CMS Invites Public Comment as it Considers National Coverage Determination for HCV Screening Under Medicare

CMS

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has initiated a National Coverage Determination (NCD) process for screening for hepatitis C virus (HCV) in adults. An NCD is a national policy statement granting, limiting, or excluding Medicare coverage for a specific medical item or service. CMS is allowed to add coverage of “additional preventive services”…

U.S. Conference on AIDS 2013 – Highlights from Day 3

Mondo

Some of yesterday’s highlights from the 2013 U.S. Conference on AIDS (USCA): The Importance of Patient-Provider Conversations Addressing a vital aspect of retention in HIV care during a plenary session, acclaimed photographer Duane Cramer and fashion designer Mondo Guerra from Project Runway—both of whom are living with HIV— highlighted the importance of continued open and…

Putting the Spotlight on Hepatitis C in the African American Community

NBLCA

On July 25, 2013, it was my pleasure to join with leaders from the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS (NBLCA ), Inc, the Coalition for Positive Health Empowerment (COPE ), and the Harm Reduction Coalition , in New York City to mark the first annual national observance of African American Hepatitis C Action Day….

The End of Hepatitis B Transmission Begins at Birth

Hepatitis B

Editor’s note: August is National Immunization Awareness Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the rate of acute hepatitis B virus infection in the U.S. has declined by more than 80 percent since 1990, when routine hepatitis B vaccination of babies was implemented. While this is certainly good news, there are…