- Category: HCV Testing & Diagnosis
- Published on Wednesday, 15 May 2013 00:00
- Written by Liz Highleyman
May 19 is the second annual Viral Hepatitis Testing Day, an opportunity to raise awareness among healthcare providers and the public about screening for chronic hepatitis B and C. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 75% of people with hepatitis C virus (HCV) are not aware they are infected.
The CDC recommends that Baby Boomers born between 1945 and 1965 should get tested for HCV at least once, regardless of traditional risk factors. Hepatitis C is most common among this age group, and many young people infected during the 1960s and 1970s are now reaching the stage of serious liver disease. "You may not remember what you did in the 60s and 70s, but your liver does," said CDC director Thomas Frieden.
The CDC recently reinforced these guidelines, emphasizing that people need both an HCV antibody screening test to identify whether they were exposed, and an HCV RNA or viral load test to determine if they are still infected. This is especially important now that more effective and better-tolerated direct-acting antiviral therapies for hepatitis C are in the final stages of clinical trials.
- CDC: Viral Hepatitis Testing Day.
- CDC: May is Hepatitis Awareness Month.
- CDC NPIN: Hepatitis Testing Day event listing.
- CDC: Hepatitis Risk Assessment questionnaire.
Numerous events are planned for Hepatitis Testing Day, and many public health agencies are offering expanded testing, sometimes at low or no cost. OraSure Technologies, Walgreens, and the Chronic Liver Disease Foundation have joined forces with local health organizations to offer rapid HCV testing at select stores in 11 cities.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hepatitis Testing Day -- May 19.
Orasure Technologies, Walgreens, and Chronic Liver Disease Foundation. OraSure Technologies, Walgreens and Chronic Liver Disease Foundation to Launch Rapid Hepatitis C Testing Initiative in Support of National Hepatitis Testing Day. Press release. May 13, 2013.