Tuesday, May 19, marks National Hepatitis Testing Day (NHTD) 2020. Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver, and it has several causes, ranging from viruses to excessive alcohol consumption. The three most common types of viral hep infection in the United States are hepatitis A, B and C virus (HAV, HBV and HCV).

This year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges everyone to learn the ABCs of viral hepatitis:

  • Hepatitis A is easily prevented with a safe and effective vaccine. In recent years, widespread outbreaks of hepatitis A have been occurring across the United States.

  • The hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for all infants at birth as well as adults at risk, but many people were infected before the vaccine was widely available.

  • The CDC now recommends all adults and pregnant women get tested for hepatitis C. Treatments are available that can cure hepatitis C.

According to CDC data, the number of acute infections estimated in 2017 include roughly 6,700 cases of hepatitis A, 22,200 cases of hepatitis B and 44,500 cases of hepatitis C.

To discover more on social media, such as the tweets embedded in this article, search #HepTestingDay, #hepatitis and #HepAware2020.

NHTD was launched in 2011 with the release of the Department of Health and Human Services Action Plan for the Prevention, Care and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis. To learn more about hepatitis, including the different types, the transmission routes and the treatments available and community resources, visit the Basics page of HepMag.com. And read about hepatitis C and HIV coinfection in POZ magazine here.

In related news, May is Hepatitis Awareness Month. To read a letter from the CDC cross-posted on HepMag.com, click here. It includes resources to help you promote the awareness month as well as hepatitis testing and vaccination services.