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Hep Express Issue

ABBREVIATIONS: ACIP, Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices; CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; DVH, Division of Viral Hepatitis; HAV, hepatitis A virus; HBV, hepatitis B virus; HCV, hepatitis C virus; IAC, Immunization Action Coalition; IDU, injection drug user; MMWR, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report; MSM, men who have sex with men; STD, sexually transmitted disease; VIS, Vaccine Information Statement; WHO, World Health Organization.
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(1 of 9)
April 26, 2006
CDC OFFERS ONLINE TRAINING IN VIRAL HEPATITIS SEROLOGY

[The following is cross posted from the Immunization Action Coalition's "IAC EXPRESS" electronic newsletter, 4/24/06.]

CDC's Division of Viral Hepatitis (DVH) has developed an online training course titled "Viral Hepatitis Serology: Hepatitis A–E." Participants will learn how to recognize the serologic interpretations for hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E virus infections.

This course is approved for continuing education credit for physicians and nurses. It was developed by Eric Mast, MD, MPH, chief, Prevention Branch, DVH, and Linda Moyer, RN, BS, recently retired team leader, Education and Communication Team, Prevention Branch, DVH.

Participants will need a web browser, Internet connection, and Macromedia Flash plug-in to access the materials.

For more information, or to start the training program, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/hepatitis/serology/index.htm
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(2 of 9)
April 26, 2006
CDC GATHERS RESOURCES RELATED TO THE NEW ACIP HEPATITIS RECOMMENDATIONS ON ONE WEB PAGE

On December 23, 2005, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) published updated recommendations for preventing hepatitis B in infants, children, and adolescents. Healthcare providers, hospitals, and health departments involved in prenatal, obstetrical, neonatal, and pediatric care should become familiar with these recommendations to better prevent perinatal and early childhood hepatitis B virus transmission. As a service to busy healthcare professionals, CDC has gathered related resources together on one web page.

Resources available on this web page include

  • "A Comprehensive Immunization Strategy to Eliminate Transmission of Hepatitis B Virus Infection in the United States: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP); Part I: Immunization of Infants, Children, and Adolescents"
  • An archived net conference in which CDC experts discuss the new recommendations
  • A letter to healthcare and public health professionals who provide care to pregnant women and infants
  • Other resources such as slide sets, FAQs, and links to CDC partners

To visit this web page, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/hepatitis/b/acip.htm
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(3 of 9)
April 26, 2006
HEPATITIS B FOUNDATION RELEASES NEW ONLINE TUTORIAL FOR PERSONS INFECTED WITH HBV

The Hepatitis B Foundation (HBF) has developed a new online tutorial to aid those chronically or acutely infected with the hepatitis B virus (HBV). The guide walks patients though the learning process of understanding their diagnosis, blood test results, treatment and management decisions, and healthy lifestyle choices that will help them lead full and active lives.

The tutorial is available in Flash, web-text (HTML), and ready-to-print (PDF) formats. To access this resource, go to: http://www.hepb.org/learnguide/index.html
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(4 of 9)
April 26, 2006
MAY 16 TELECONFERENCE TO DISCUSS HEPATITIS VACCINE PROGRAMS AND RESOURCES FOR IMMUNIZATION COALITIONS

[The following is cross posted from the Immunization Action Coalition's "IAC EXPRESS" electronic newsletter, 4/24/06.]

The National Immunization Coalition TA [technical assistance] Network has scheduled a teleconference that will focus on hepatitis vaccine programs and resources available to immunization coalitions. It will be held May 16 at 1:00PM ET.

Speakers will include representatives from the Hepatitis B Foundation and Hepatitis Foundation International.

To register for the teleconference, send an email to IZTA@aed.org Include this message: "Sign me up for the Hepatitis Vaccine Programs and Resources Call."

For additional information, or to access earlier programs, go to: http://www.izcoalitionsta.org/confcall.cfm
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(5 of 9)
April 26, 2006
CDC POSTS SIGNAL-TO-CUT–OFF RATIO GUIDELINES

CDC has recommended that a person be considered to have serologic evidence of HCV infection only after an anti-HCV screening-test–positive result has been verified by a more specific serologic test (e.g., RIBA) or a nucleic acid test (NAT). This more specific, supplemental testing is necessary, particularly in populations with a lower prevalence of disease, to identify and exclude false positive screening test results. However, currently, the majority of laboratories report positive anti-HCV results based on a positive screening assay alone.

The recommended anti-HCV testing algorithm has been expanded to include an option that uses the signal-to-cut–off (s/co) ratios of screening-test–positive results. This can serve as an alternative to a supplemental test in some circumstances, minimizing the number of specimens that require supplemental testing and providing a result that has a high probability of reflecting the person's true antibody status.

For more information on the s/co ratios for commercially available assays for detecting antibody to HCV, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/hepatitis/c/sc_ratios.htm
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(6 of 9)
April 26, 2006
HEPATITIS B FOUNDATION POSTS PRESS RELEASE ABOUT NIH MEETING ON HEPATITIS B MANAGEMENT

On April 6–8, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) convened a national meeting in Bethesda, MD, to address current controversies in the management and treatment of hepatitis B. Sponsors of the meeting included the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, and the Hepatitis B Foundation (HBF).

Although there was debate on every issue, the experts agreed that avoiding drug resistance to the currently approved drugs is a key concern in the treatment of hepatitis B. HBF has posted a press release about the meeting on its website for those wanting more information. To read this summary, go to: http://www.hepb.org/news/NIH_Meeting.htm
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April 26, 2006
IAC UPDATES SEVERAL PRINT EDUCATION PIECES

IAC recently revised several of its print pieces for healthcare providers and the public.

FOR HEALTH PROFESSIONALS
1. "It's federal law! You must give your patients current Vaccine Information Statements (VISs)": The information about VIS dates was made current.

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/2027law.pdf

To access a web-text (HTML) version, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/2027law.htm

2. "Quiz #1: Immunization": Information about Tdap vaccine was added.

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p7001qz.pdf

To access a web-text (HTML) version, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p7001qz.htm

3. "Emergency response worksheet: What to do in case of a power failure or another event that results in vaccine storage outside of the recommended temperature range": Vaccine manufacturers' telephone numbers were updated.

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p3051.pdf

4. "Vaccine handling tips: Outdated or improperly stored vaccines won't protect patients!" Information about rotavirus vaccine was added.

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p3048.pdf

5. "Maintaining the cold chain during transport": Information about rotavirus vaccine was added.

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p3049.pdf

6. "Notification of vaccination letter": Information about rotavirus vaccine was added.

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p3060not.pdf

7. "States Report Hundreds of Medical Errors in Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention": The piece was modified to be consistent with the new ACIP hepatitis B recommendations for infants, children, and adolescents.

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p2062.pdf

To access a web-text (HTML) version, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p2062.htm

FOR PATIENTS AND PARENTS
8. "What if you don't immunize your child?" The statistic on annual worldwide measles mortality was updated.

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4017.pdf

To access a web-text (HTML) version, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4017.htm

9. "If you, your parents, or your children were born in any of these places . . . give this brochure to your healthcare provider and ask to find out your hepatitis B status": The most recent version (dated 9/05) has been translated into Russian. IAC gratefully acknowledges the California Department of Health Services for the translation.

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version in Russian, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4170ru.pdf

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version in English, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4170ref.pdf

To access a web-text (HTML) version in English, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4170.htm

10. "When Do Children and Teens Need Vaccinations?": Rotavirus vaccine was added to the schedule, and the recommended age for influenza vaccine was changed from 6–23 months to 6–59 months.

To access a ready-to-print (PDF) version, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/when1.pdf

To access a web-text (HTML) version, go to:
http://www.immunize.org/nslt.d/n17/when1.htm
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(8 of 9)
April 26, 2006
HEPATITIS B FOUNDATION POSTS WINTER 2006 ISSUE OF THE "B INFORMED" NEWSLETTER ON ITS WEBSITE

The Winter 2006 issue of "B Informed," the newsletter of the Hepatitis B Foundation (HBF) is now available online. This issue includes articles titled "Hepatitis D Affects 15 Million," "HBV Around the World," and "Physician with HBV Denied Professional Choice," as well as regular features on HBV compounds in development, clinical trials, and a resource roundup.

The current issue of "B Informed" can be accessed at http://www.hepb.org/pdf/hepbnews45.pdf

To receive "B Informed" through the U.S. mail, please send your name and full address to info@hepb.org and HBF will add your name to its confidential mailing list.

The HBF website offers many other resources, including the continually updated "HBF Drug Watch." To access the home page go to: http://www.hepb.org
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(9 of 9)
April 26, 2006
NORTH CAROLINA SHARES PAPER ON THE IMPACT OF ITS IMMUNIZATION INITIATIVES ON ACUTE HEPATITIS B INCIDENCE

The North Carolina Hepatitis B Prevention Program has written a short report on the impact of the state's hepatitis B immunization programs.

Since 1990, state law has required immunoprophylaxis for infants born to HBsAg-positive women, and in 1994, North Carolina became a "universal" state, providing hepatitis B vaccine to all children at no cost. State immunization law has required hepatitis B vaccination for all children since July 1, 1994. In 1995, the state launched an initiative to immunize susceptible sixth-grade students in school clinics.

Between 1991 and 2005, the overall incidence rate of HBV infection fell from 8.3 to 1.92 per 100,000 population, a 77% decline. The greatest reduction was in the younger age groups.

To read the complete article, go to: http://www.hepprograms.org/school/NChepbimpact.pdf

To read more about the North Carolina School-Site Hepatitis B Immunization Initiative, go to: http://www.hepprograms.org/school/school2.asp


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