It’s crucial that nurses in all health care settings stay informed about the changing landscape of viral hepatitis in the United States. Hepatitis affects the lives of millions, too many of whom are unaware that they have been infected.
Right now, there’s good news and bad news about hepatitis in the U.S. While the incidences of hepatitis A and B in the United States have declined significantly in the past 15 years, the incidence of hepatitis C virus infection, formerly stable or in decline, has increased by 75% since 2010. Suboptimal past therapies, insufficient provider awareness, and low screening rates have hindered efforts to improve diagnosis, management, and treatment of viral hepatitis.
The authors of a CE feature in the July issue of AJN, “Viral Hepatitis: New U.S. Screening Recommendations, Assessment Tools, and Treatments,” are thoroughly versed in the subject. Corinna Dan is viral hepatitis policy advisor, Michelle Moses-Eisenstein is a public health analyst, and Ronald O. Valdiserri is director, all in the Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Their article succinctly and clearly covers
- the epidemiology, natural history, and diagnosis of viral hepatitis.
- new screening recommendations, assessment tools, and treatments.
- the HHS action plan, focusing on the role of nurses in prevention and treatment.
The HHS action plan is intended to bring about significant progress in the coming years. To listen to AJN‘s editor-in-chief Shawn Kennedy discuss the article with lead author Corinna Dan, visit our Behind the Article podcasts page and scroll down for a free download of the podcast, or download the podcast at AJN‘s iTunes podcasts page.
Nurses: To earn 2.5 continuing education credits, take the test on the material covered in this free CE article by clicking the link in the sidebar next to the article.
—Jacob Molyneux, senior editor