As 2023 comes to a close, HepVu is proud to look back on another impactful year of increasing awareness, visualizing critical data, and fostering advocacy efforts in the fight against the viral hepatitis and opioid epidemics. From data launches to awareness days and educational initiatives, we maintained our commitment to making progress against these public health threats.
Let’s take a closer look at HepVu’s most impactful activities for the year:
Recognizing Viral Hepatitis Awareness Days
HepVu started the year by acknowledging and participating in crucial awareness days dedicated to viral hepatitis. These included Hepatitis Awareness Month, National Hispanic Hepatitis Awareness Day, Hepatitis Testing Day, and World Hepatitis Day. These occasions allowed us to raise awareness about the importance of testing, prevention, and treatment, while also spotlighting the unique challenges faced by various communities affected by viral hepatitis.
Data Launches: Shedding Light on Surveillance and Treatment Restrictions
Our goal at HepVu is to provide the most up-to-date information and insights on viral hepatitis in the United States. In collaboration with the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD), we released the 2022 Viral Hepatitis Surveillance Status Report. This report showed that there is still a lack of funding and resources needed to implement viral hepatitis surveillance programs in U.S. jurisdictions effectively. Although progress has been made, with 70% of jurisdictions having viral hepatitis elimination plans, challenges remain. For instance, 20% of jurisdictions lacked dedicated staff for routine surveillance activities, and 35% could not produce annual surveillance summaries. This data highlights the need for continuous advocacy and resource allocation to fight viral hepatitis effectively.
Furthermore, HepVu partnered with the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable (NVHR) to publish updated maps and data detailing viral hepatitis treatment restrictions across the United States. This information is essential for individuals seeking treatment and advocates working to improve access to care.
“What’s New in Viral Hepatitis” and the HepVu Elimination Hub
Throughout the year, HepVu co-chair Dr. Ron Valdiserri kept the community informed by publishing six editions of “What’s New in Viral Hepatitis.” These reviews of important academic literature on viral hepatitis and surrounding issues provided valuable insights into the latest research and developments in the field.
In addition, we launched a new “Elimination Hub“, serving as an informational resource for viral hepatitis advocates. This hub consolidates key information, resources, and tools for advocates that they can use to advance viral hepatitis elimination efforts.
Engaging with Experts
We understand the importance of learning from experts and advocates who are on the front lines of the viral hepatitis epidemic. HepVu published six Q&A interviews with viral hepatitis experts and advocates, providing a platform for them to share insights, experiences, and innovative approaches to addressing the viral hepatitis and opioid epidemics. Some notable interviews from this year included:
- Dr. Jagpreet Chhatwal on the White House’s Plan to Eliminate Hepatitis C
- Dr. Samuel So on Global Hepatitis B Elimination Efforts
- Tessa Bialek and Dr. Matthew J. Akiyama on Expanding Hepatitis C Testing and Treatment in Prisons and Jails
Looking ahead to 2024
HepVu remains fully committed to fulfilling its mission of providing critical data, raising awareness, and advocating for resources to tackle the viral hepatitis epidemic. We are deeply grateful for the continuous support of our partners, the unwavering dedication of our team, and the active engagement of our audience. By working together, we can make significant progress towards a future where viral hepatitis no longer poses a threat to public health. Looking ahead, we are thrilled to embark on new initiatives and collaborations in 2024.