In 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) established two goals to accomplish by 2030: reduce new viral hepatitis infections by 90% and hepatitis-related deaths by 65%. In pursuit of these goals, the U.S. has published multiple national strategic plans to address the domestic viral hepatitis epidemic.
The latest plan released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Viral Hepatitis National Strategic Plan: A Roadmap to Elimination 2021-2025, encourages collaboration across private and public stakeholders at all levels to achieve viral hepatitis elimination. The plan encompasses strategies towards eliminating the following three viruses: Hepatitis A, B, and C.
This plan establishes five main goals:
- Prevent new viral hepatitis infections
- Improve viral hepatitis-related health outcomes of people with viral hepatitis
- Reduce viral hepatitis-related disparities and health inequities
- Improve viral hepatitis surveillance and data usage
- Achieve integrated, coordinated efforts that address the viral hepatitis epidemics among partners and stakeholders
In addition, the plan establishes core indicators to monitor progress in each specific hepatitis virus and among at-risk populations to achieve viral hepatitis elimination.
The Viral Hepatitis National Strategic Plan also identifies “priority populations” to ensure that viral hepatitis elimination efforts reach communities disproportionately impacted by viral hepatitis. The priority populations include Asians and Pacific Islanders, American Native/Alaskan Indians, non-Hispanic Blacks, people who inject drugs, people living with HIV, people experiencing homelessness, and people born between 1945 to 1965.
Addressing a multitude of public health challenges, the plan recognizes the necessity of a “syndemic approach” to address viral hepatitis, HIV, STIs, and substance use disorders, and was “developed concurrently and in alignment with the inaugural STI National Strategic Plan and the next iteration of the HIV National Strategic Plan.”
The plan aims to maximize elimination efforts and utilize resources from networks at all levels. Amidst the global pandemic, the plan brings back necessary attention towards ending the viral hepatitis crisis across the country.
To learn more about the efforts to eliminate viral hepatitis, explore HepVu’s Deeper Look on Viral Hepatitis Elimination.
Visualize the Viral Hepatitis Epidemic