How You Can Participate
The month of May is designated as Hepatitis Awareness Month in the United States, and May 19th is Hepatitis Testing Day. During May, HUD is joining national efforts to shed light on this little-known epidemic by raising awareness of viral hepatitis and encouraging our special needs populations to get tested.
There are approximately 3–5 million Americans living with chronic viral hepatitis with many unaware of their condition. The most common types of viral hepatitis, hepatitis B and C, are leading infectious causes of death, claiming the lives of over 21,000 Americans in 2013. Consistent with the well-known link between homelessness and adverse outcomes in overall health and life expectancy, studies suggest that there is a higher prevalence of hepatitis among homeless populations compared with the national rate. Find out more in Healthcare for the Homeless’ Hepatitis C Update.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed a number of resources to help raise awareness and link people into testing for viral hepatitis. Go to the CDC’s Hepatitis Awareness Month and Testing Day Resource Center page to access digital tools, Live Script Radio PSAs, information on how to register an event you are hosting, the Hepatitis Risk Assessment; links to the Know More Hepatitis and Know Hepatitis B campaign webpages; and more. Please join HUD and other partners across the country as we raise awareness about viral hepatitis during May and beyond.
Share Your Promising Practices and Ideas!
In honor of Hepatitis Awareness Month, HUD is asking Continuums of Care (CoCs), Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) Program recipients, Housing for People with HIV/AIDS (HOPWA) grantees, and their partners to share training resources and community- and program-level promising practices being used to prevent, test, and/or treat infectious diseases, such as viral hepatitis, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS, within their CoCs. HUD intends to post these tools on the HUD Exchange in an effort to make these resources more widely accessible to all Continuums and to increase awareness about infectious diseases that disproportionately affect our program participants.
You are also welcome to send us your ideas about additional technical assistance products that are needed to improve coordination between your programs and local health care providers in the prevention, testing, and treatment of infectious diseases like viral hepatitis.
Send all resources, promising practices, and ideas for needed technical assistance products to Marlisa.M.Grogan@hud.gov (for homeless assistance providers) or Eric.M.Pfeifer@hud.gov (for HOPWA providers). Your input is voluntary and greatly appreciated.