Hepatitis Testing Day (May 19)
Millions of Americans have chronic viral hepatitis; most of them do not know they are infected. The goal of Hepatitis Testing Day is to help raise awareness of hepatitis B and hepatitis C and to encourage more individuals to learn their status. It is a day for people at risk for viral hepatitis to be tested, and for health care providers to educate patients about viral hepatitis and testing.
Hepatitis Testing Day is an important opportunity for stakeholders across all sectors of society to educate their constituents and communities about viral hepatitis and encourage those at risk to be tested. First observed in 2012, Hepatitis Testing Day was designated as a national observance in the Action Plan for the Prevention, Care, and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis as part of broader efforts to raise awareness of the silent epidemic of viral hepatitis in the United States.
An estimated 850,000 people are living with hepatitis B and 3.5 million are people living with hepatitis C. Most people with chronic hepatitis B virus or hepatitis C virus don’t have symptoms until the later stages of the infection. As a result, many Americans living with viral hepatitis do not know they are infected and are at risk for severe, even fatal, complications from the disease and can spread the virus to others. Untreated chronic viral hepatitis represents a leading cause of liver cancer and the most common reason for liver transplantation in the United States. Treatment for hepatitis B is also available and can prevent the development of liver disease and liver cancer. Hepatitis C kills more Americans than any other reportable infectious disease. Testing individuals at risk for hepatitis B and hepatitis C and linking those chronically infected to medical care and treatment can reduce related illness and death.
Hepatitis Testing Day 2016 Observed at the White House
The White House hosted an observance of Hepatitis Testing Day on May 19, 2016. Co-sponsored by the White House Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) and the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), the event put a spotlight on strengthening our national response to hepatitis B and C.
As part of the observance, the President issued a proclamation recognizing National Hepatitis Testing Day 2016. In it, he called on all of us to “rededicate ourselves to ensuring all people with viral hepatitis know their infection status and have access to necessary care and resources.” He also encouraged “citizens, Government agencies, non-profit organizations, and communities across the Nation to join in activities that will increase awareness about viral hepatitis and the need for expanded testing.”
During the White House observance, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recognized 12 organizations for their outstanding commitment to increasing the number of individuals who are aware of their hepatitis B and C status.
Read more about the event in this blog post.
View more photos from the event.
Ways to Get Involved in Hepatitis Testing Day
Assess Your Risk and Take Action
Use these easy online tools to find out if you are at risk for hepatitis B or hepatitis C, then take action to locate a nearby provider of hepatitis B vaccination or hepatitis B or C testing. Share these tools with friends, family, colleagues, members, clients, constituents, and others.
Use the Hepatitis Digital Tools
Incorporate the Hepatitis Testing Day logo into your website, blog posts, social media, email, and other communications. Visit this CDC page to find an array of digital tools including a quiz widget and buttons, badges, and banners in different shapes and sizes that are ready to download and use online.
Learn about the CDC’s Hepatitis C Testing Recommendations for Baby Boomers
CDC issued a recommendation that all Americans born from 1945-1965 get tested for hepatitis C. People in this age group are five times more likely to have hepatitis C. This short video describes what hepatitis C is and why testing is important.
Join the conversation on social media. Use the hashtags #HepTestingDay, #HepAware, and #Hepatitis to share information on viral hepatitis and Hepatitis Awareness Month.
Follow @HHS_ViralHep on Twitter to learn about the Viral Hepatitis Action Plan, federal hepatitis actions and resources.
Follow @cdchep on Twitter to receive information from CDC about hepatitis resources, tools, publications, campaign updates, and events.
Use CDC’s Educational Campaign Materials
Know More Hepatitis is an educational campaign aiming to increase testing for Hepatitis C among people born during 1945-1965. Supporting fact sheets, posters, infographic, buttons & badges, live-read radio scripts, templates, and other images can all be found under campaign materials.
Know Hepatitis B is an educational campaign aiming to increase testing for Hepatitis B among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs). This multilingual campaign has materials in English, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese with select fact sheets also available in Burmese, Hmong, Khmer, and Lao. Supporting videos, fact sheets, posters, infographics, customizable flyers, and other materials can all be found under campaign materials.
CDC has multiple viral hepatitis posters available for ordering at no cost. Some posters are available in Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese.
Watch and Share Videos
Learn more about viral hepatitis in these videos from federal partners.
Read About the Viral Hepatitis Action Plan
Learn more about our national plan to harness available tools and focus the U.S. response to viral hepatitis. The Action Plan features many opportunities for nonfederal stakeholders to take action in support of reaching its goals.
Read Related Blog Posts
Follow our blog posts about Hepatitis Testing Day – and the federal response to viral hepatitis. Feel free to cross-post, share or re-use these posts in your communications.