The Viral Hepatitis Action Coalition is a public-private partnership developed by the CDC Foundation to help the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) make meaningful advances in the prevention, screening, linkage to care and treatment of viral hepatitis. Coalition members help support crucial CDC-led research and programs and amplify CDC’s messages to the public to increase overall awareness of viral hepatitis.
"Viral Hepatitis is a large and under-appreciated problem in the United States," says Dr. John Ward, director of CDC's Division of Viral Hepatitis. "Approximately 3.5–5.3 million persons are living with hepatitis, and CDC is particularly concerned that most of those persons are unaware of their infection, meaning they can unknowingly transmit these viruses to others, and that they are not receiving the care they need that could prevent the progression to liver disease, including liver cancer, in later life."
As directed by CDC, the efforts of the Coalition are focused on addressing the strategic priorities identified in the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) 2010 report, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) 2011 Action Plan for the Prevention, Care and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis (and its subsequent update), and the Division of Viral Hepatitis Strategic Plan 2012–2015.
"The Viral Hepatitis Action Coalition has given us capacity that we did not have previously to launch a variety of new projects that our division believes are critically important to our success in preventing disease and deaths from viral hepatitis," says Ward.