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Hispanics and hepatitis: What you need to know

In commemoration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, Assistant Secretary for Health, Dr. Howard Koh opened the webinar with how viral hepatitis affects the Hispanic community and the effects of health reform, and called participants to action to raise awareness about hepatitis, implement new screening recommendations for hepatitis C, and make a difference for millions of people.

There are an estimated 53 million Hispanics living in the United States, making this group the largest and fastest growing minority group in the U.S. The prevalence of hepatitis C among Hispanics varies widely, ranging from low rates of 0.4% and 0.04% among South American men and women respectively to 11.6% among men and 3.9% among women of Puerto Rican background which is significantly higher than the estimated prevalence of 1.0% in the general population. Awareness remains very low among Hispanics despite the higher rates of infection and the availability of treatments that can cure hepatitis C.

This webinar highlighted factors affecting early diagnosis, disease progression and timely treatment for Hispanics, including barriers in access to quality care, common co-morbidities, patient awareness, education, and language barriers. Presenters shared strategies to raise awareness about viral hepatitis among Hispanics; the benefits of prevention, testing, education; and brought attention to related health issues, such as HIV co-infection, diabetes, obesity, and behavioral health issues, such as substance use/abuse.The goals of the Viral Hepatitis Action Plan were discussed, along with an update on the development of the Action Plan for the Prevention, Care Treatment of Viral Hepatitis 2014-2016 (released 4/3/2014).

Opening Remarks:

Howard Koh, MD, MPH

Assistant Secretary for Health
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Monina Klevens, DDS, MPH

Division of Viral Hepatitis
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Epidemiology and Prevention of Viral Hepatitis among Hispanics

Yonette F. Thomas, PhD

Department of Public Health Sciences
University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine
Social Epidemiology and Drug Use and HCV

José Bordon, MD, PhD, AAHIVS

Department of Medicine
Section of Infectious Diseases
Providence Hospital, Washington, D.C.
Medical Management of Chronic Viral Hepatitides

Corinna Dan, RN, MPH

Viral Hepatitis Policy Advisor
Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
National Action Plan for the Prevention, Care Treatment of
Viral Hepatitis

For more information:

Viral hepatitis fact sheet




Content last updated: May 08, 2014.

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