The rising incidence of hepatitis C in the United States has introduced new public health challenges with a diverse set of clinical and social consequences. The National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable (NVHR) has developed fact sheets to increase awareness and generate discussion among the hepatitis community about current issues facing two unique populations: pregnant women and people who inject drugs.
The first fact sheet presents the case for universal screening for the hepatitis c virus (HCV) during pregnancy. HCV is increasing among young adults including women of child-bearing age, who may pass the virus to their unborn babies if they become pregnant. While HCV testing and treatment should ideally occur before pregnancy to prevent the risk of vertical transmission, many women are unaware of their infection. Universal HCV screening during pregnancy will identify HCV in previously undiagnosed women who can be referred for treatment after delivery. In addition, it will ensure that HCV-exposed babies receive appropriate follow-up care. Click here for the full fact sheet.
The second fact sheet brings attention to the need to expand HCV treatment among people who inject drugs. Misconceptions about this population have kept HCV treatment out of reach for many, despite the fact that up to 80% of new HCV cases are associated with injection drug use. In an effort to promote improvements in HCV treatment access, this fact sheet presents the current evidence supporting HCV treatment among people who inject drugs. Click here to read more.