National Hepatitis Testing Day
National Hepatitis Testing Day is observed next on Friday, May 19th, 2023 (172 days from today).
Millions of Americans have chronic viral hepatitis without knowing it. National Hepatitis Testing Day is an annual opportunity to remind health care providers and the public about who should be tested for viral hepatitis on May 19th.
Why is hepatitis B testing necessary?
Hepatitis B is largely asymptomatic, which means that symptoms are not always present or are not obvious. Some people won't know they have hepatitis B until it's too late, or they may learn their infection from a blood donation test or lab work. There are groups of people who are at higher risk of contracting hepatitis B than others, so it's not dangerous to be certain. These are some of the parts of the world with extremely high prevalence of hepatitis B (where many people are infected). It is important that people at high risk for hepatitis B see their doctor for testing to find out if they have hepatitis B infection. People with chronic hepatitis B need regular monitoring and appropriate screening for liver cancer. So, if you find out you have hepatitis B, talk to your doctor about what to do next.
Remember, hepatitis B does not discriminate. Don't wait for the symptoms. If you don't have hepatitis B, protect yourself for life with the hepatitis B vaccine. The vaccine of hepatitis B is both safe and effective. Children or adults can get 3 shots of the vaccine. In addition, a new two-dose adult vaccine has been approved to protect us from hepatitis B! However, the vaccine does not work if you are already infected.
Here are some next steps if you have received a positive test result for hepatitis B. The first thing you should realize is that you can have a long and healthy life.
- Understand your diagnosis. Do you know what an acute or chronic infection is? When someone is infected with hepatitis B at first, it is considered as an acute infection. Most healthy adults infected with the virus are able to clear the virus on their own. If you continue to get the result of test positive for hepatitis B after 6 months, it is absolutely a chronic infection. Knowing if your hepatitis B is acute or chronic will help you and your doctor determine your next steps. If you are unsure about what your blood test results mean, you may find it helpful to understand your blood tests.
- Prevent the spread to others. Hepatitis B can be passed on to others through blood and body fluids, but there is a safe and effective vaccine that can protect your loved one from hepatitis B. You also need to be aware. How to protect your loved ones from being infecting your family and family members and sexual partners?
- Find a doctor. If you've been diagnosed with chronic hepatitis B, it's important to find a doctor with expertise in treating liver disease. We maintain a searchable doctor directory database to help you find a liver specialist near you.
- Educate yourself. Find out information about hepatitis B, including what hepatitis B is, who gets it, and possible symptoms, starting with what is Hepatitis B.
- Seek support. It may be helpful to you if you seek community support. You can join the Hepatitis B Community, an online global forum dedicated to supporting those affected by hepatitis B. The Hepatitis B Foundation also lists other support groups you can support.
Viral Hepatitis Key Facts
- There are several different viruses causing hepatitis such as hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. They are the most common types of viral hepatitis.
- Chronic hepatitis B and hepatitis C are the leading causes of liver cancer in the United States.
- Both hepatitis A and hepatitis B are prevented by using safe and effective vaccines, and hepatitis C is curable with prescribed treatment.
- About 66% of people with hepatitis B do not know they are infected, and about 40% of people living with hepatitis C do not know they are infected.
- Testing is the only way to know whether you have hepatitis A, hepatitis B or hepatitis C.
History of National Hepatitis Testing Day
National Hepatitis Testing Day is an important opportunity for stakeholders across all sectors of society to educate their constituents and communities about viral hepatitis and to encourage those at risk to get tested experience. First celebrated in 2012, National Hepatitis Testing Day was designated a national holiday in 2013, to help raise awareness about the silent viral hepatitis epidemic in the United States.
An estimated 862,000 people are living with hepatitis B and 2.4 million are living with hepatitis C. Most people with chronic hepatitis B virus or hepatitis C virus have no symptoms for it to the later stages of the infection. As a result, many Americans living with viral hepatitis do not know they are infected and are at risk of severe complications, even death, from the disease and possibly passing the virus on to others. Chronic untreated hepatitis is the leading cause of liver cancer and the most common reason for liver transplantation in the United States. There are treatments for hepatitis B and can prevent the development of liver disease and liver cancer. It is reported that hepatitis C causes the dead of Americans more than any other infectious disease. However, safe and effective oral treatments are available to cure hepatitis C over a course of 8 to 12 weeks in more than 95% of infected people, preventing liver disease and cancer. Testing individuals at risk for hepatitis B and hepatitis C and linking chronically infected individuals to medical care and treatment can reduce associated morbidity and mortality.
How to celebrate National Hepatitis Testing Day
- Assess your risk and take action
Use these easy online tools to find out if you're at risk for hepatitis B or hepatitis C, then take action to identify a hepatitis B vaccine or testing provider nearby hepatitis B or C. Share these tools with friends, family, colleagues, members, customers, constituents, and others.
- Using digital hepatitis tools
Incorporate National Hepatitis Testing Day logo into your website, blog posts, social media, emails and other communications. Visit this CDC page to find a wide range of digital tools including a puzzle widget and buttons, badges, and banners in different shapes and sizes that are ready to be downloaded and used online.
- Share the ABC of Viral Hepatitis to help others learn the truth about the three most common types of viral hepatitis in the United States.
- Sign up for your hepatitis testing services, by visiting https://gettested.cdc.gov and filling out this online form to make sure your services are public.
- Access and share materials with the public from the Know Hepatitis B campaign.
- Access and share resources for healthcare providers from the Know More about Hepatitis campaign.
- Download posters and flyers in various languages for free.
- Find resources for both providers and the public including patient education materials, medical expertise tools, reports, publications, and campaign materials.
ObservedNational Hepatitis Testing Day has been observed annually on May 19th.
Wednesday, May 19th, 2021
Thursday, May 19th, 2022
Friday, May 19th, 2023
Sunday, May 19th, 2024
Monday, May 19th, 2025