Action Plan for the Prevention, Care, & Treatment of Viral Hepatitis, Updated 2014-2016 [open pdf - 2MB]
"Viral hepatitis remains a silent epidemic in the United States. Most of the 3.5--5.3 million Americans living with viral hepatitis do not know that they are infected, placing them at greater risk for severe, even fatal, complications from the disease and increasing the likelihood that they will spread the virus to others. Viral hepatitis can persist undetected for many years before manifesting as chronic liver disease, cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) or even liver cancer. As a result, viral hepatitis is a leading infectious cause of death and claims the lives of 12,000--18,000 Americans each year. It is the leading cause of liver cancer and the most common reason for liver transplantation. In 2007, deaths due to viral hepatitis outpaced deaths due to HIV. Despite these facts, awareness of viral hepatitis remains very low in the general public and among at risk populations. Even health care providers can lack knowledge and awareness about these infections. […] In May 2013, reflecting on their progress to date and encouraged by emerging opportunities for even greater progress resulting from the promise of emerging hepatitis C treatments as well as the expansion of access to viral hepatitis prevention, care, and treatment offered by the Affordable Care Act, the partners agreed to propel these efforts further by renewing the Action Plan for another 3 years by outlining specific actions for 2014--2016. Nonfederal stakeholders were strongly supportive of this renewal effort and played a critical role in providing input into the process. All agreed that the updated plan should explicitly embrace the vital contributions of both federal and nonfederal stakeholders in achieving the national goals for the prevention, diagnosis, care, and treatment of viral hepatitis in the United States."