Viral Hepatitis National Strategic Plan: A Roadmap to Elimination 2021-2025
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the Viral Hepatitis National Strategic Plan: A Roadmap to Elimination (2021-2025) in January 2021. This plan is also referred to as the Hepatitis Plan. The plan outlines a vision that healthcare and government leaders in the United States would like to see related to viral hepatitis.1
In 2016, it was estimated that 3.3 million Americans were living with chronic viral hepatitis. This includes hepatitis A, B, and C. Not only is viral hepatitis a serious public health problem, but hepatitis C can create daily challenges for those living with the infection.1
Here, we break down what is outlined in the report to help you understand how it relates to you and your care.
Why was a plan needed?
The Hepatitis Plan was created to help local, state, and national governments. The plan outlines how to improve health outcomes related to the disease. This can be used to guide those who make laws, as well as for doctors who treat the disease. An organized approach helps to make sure everyone has access to care and treatment.1
Advances in treatment and prevention of hepatitis can help decrease the impacts and death rate from hep C. According to previous plans, the United States has improved the overall outcomes of hepatitis. This new plan focuses on preventing the disease and providing greater access to care.1
What are the parts and vision of the plan?
The plan outlines goals related to viral hepatitis:1,2
- Prevent new infections
- Make sure those with hepatitis know their health status
- Knowing your health status helps you understand ways to better manage your condition. Improving tests may also help people with hepatitis to better understand the disease.
- Quality and equal treatment for everyone
- The amount of money you make, your age, or the color of your skin should not impact your health. Equal treatment and access to high-quality care is a key priority listed in the plan. It is also important to prevent and stop the stigma, or negative thoughts and feelings about the disease.
- Improve the monitoring and reporting of disease
- Reporting and sharing information on hepatitis infections will help to improve the overall outcomes of disease. Addressing other health problems that a person may have is also important. These could include HIV, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and substance use disorders.
What does the plan mean to me?
The Hepatitis Plan is a roadmap for the way viral hepatitis may be managed in the future. Your doctor may use this plan to guide your treatment.1-3
Talk to your doctor about your treatment plan and any questions you may have. Viral hepatitis may impact your life in ways that only you can describe, and every person’s experiences and needs are different.