May 19- National Hepatitis Testing Day!
May is Hepatitis Awareness Month and May 19th is Hepatitis Testing Day in the United States. Approximately 90% of U.S. deaths from viral hepatitis are caused by infection with the hepatitis C virus (HCV). In 2013, for the first time, deaths associated with HCV infection surpassed the total number of deaths from 60 other nationally notifiable infectious diseases. And in 2014, the HCV-related incidence rates and mortality rate among American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) were about twofold greater than the rates for the general population. Despite this, more than five million Americans are living with chronic hepatitis in the United States, but most do not know they are infected. Many can live with it for decades without symptoms or feeling sick! As a result, this delays treatment to prevent hepatitis related cancer and furthers transmission of the virus. So, it is important to get tested because it is the only way to know if you are infected!
During the month of May, the CDC and its public health partners are working to shed light on this hidden epidemic by raising awareness of viral hepatitis and encouraging priority populations to get tested. Please go here for resources with regard to Hepatitis testing and join our cause to raise awareness of this virulent disease!