Yesterday the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine released Eliminating the Public Health Problem of Hepatitis B and C in the United States: Phase One Report, which affirms that it would be possible to eliminate hepatitis in the U.S. with the right resources, commitment, and strategy. Importantly, the report also concluded that in the short term, disease control -- a reduction in the incidence and prevalence of hepatitis B and C and their consequences -- is feasible.
Commissioned by the CDC's Division of Viral Hepatitis and the HHS Office of Minority Health, the report examines scientific and policy issues related to the prevention, detection, control, and management of HBV and HCV and also discusses the barriers that must be overcome to eliminate hepatitis B and hepatitis C in the United States.
This report will inform and galvanize work currently underway across the federal government to both implement the national Viral Hepatitis Action Plan and develop an update to it that will guide our nation's response to viral hepatitis through 2020. (See the related blog post: Federal Workgroup Looks to Future of Viral Hepatitis Action Plan.)
The Academies will now continue their work, developing a phase two report that will outline a strategy and propose targets for eliminating hepatitis B and C in the United States. This report is expected early next year.
Corinna Dan, R.N., M.P.H., is a viral hepatitis policy advisor at the Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.