229622 Finding common ground: Uniting the hepatitis B and hepatitis C advocacy movements

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 : 11:00 AM - 11:15 AM

Martha Saly, MSOD , National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable, Rohnert Park, CA
Lorren D. Sandt , Caring Ambassadors Program, Oregon City, OR
Corinna Dan, RN MPH , Hepatitis B Fellow, Association of Asian Pacific Health Organizations, Oakland, CA
Chris Taylor, BA , Senior Manager, Viral Hepatitis, National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors, Washington, DC
Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) are among the leading causes of preventable death worldwide. An estimated 5 million Americans are living with chronic HBV or HCV, most are unaware of their infection. Both viruses are found in people from all racial, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds; both can lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer, or liver failure. Historically, advocacy groups have addressed one of these diseases. Advocacy communities grew, but remained separate, fractured by perceptions that affected populations differed too significantly to work together. As a result there are few coordinated federal programs and woefully inadequate funding to address either epidemic. In 2004, the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable (NVHR) was formed to bring together the two disparate communities. Today NVHR is a coalition of more than 150 public, private, and voluntary organizations dedicated to reducing the incidence of infection, morbidity, and mortality from chronic viral hepatitis. In 2009, NVHR mobilized key stakeholders from each community and Congress to integrate existing disease specific legislation, successfully introducing the first united hepatitis B and C legislation. NVHR in collaboration with Centers for Disease Control, Veterans Administration, and the Office of Minority Health funded a historic report from the Institute of Medicine (IoM) on viral hepatitis and liver cancer in the US. The report provides 22 recommendations for improving the response to viral hepatitis. As the first document of its kind to address HBV and HCV together, the IoM report provides an additional tool to mobilize the HBV and HCV advocates.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the makeup of the viral hepatitis advocacy community. 2. Identify the salient issues within the viral hepatitis advocacy community. 3. Formulate a plan of action to work within the advocacy community (awareness, expansion, mobilization). 4. Identify where and how to incorporate viral hepatitis into the public health dialogue.

Keywords: Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Director of the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable. Under my leadership and with the support of a volunteer steering committee, NVHR has been instrumental in bringing together hepatitis B and hepatitis C advocates with a united voice to strengthen the advocacy movements for both diseases.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.