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Keywords

chronic hepatitis, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, hepatitis treatment, liver disease, viral hepatitis

 

Authors

  1. Dan, Corinna MPH, RN
  2. Moses-Eisenstein, Michelle MPH
  3. Valdiserri, Ronald O. MD, MPH

Abstract

Overview: Over the past 15 years, the incidences of hepatitis A and B virus infection in the United States have declined significantly. By contrast, the incidence of hepatitis C virus infection, formerly stable or in decline, has increased by 75% since 2010. Suboptimal therapies of the past, insufficient provider awareness, and low screening rates have hampered efforts to improve diagnosis, management, and treatment of viral hepatitis. New screening recommendations, innovations in assessment and treatment, and an updated action plan from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) seem likely to lead to significant progress in the coming years. This article reviews the epidemiology, natural history, and diagnosis of viral hepatitis; discusses new screening recommendations, assessment tools, and treatments; and outlines the HHS action plan, focusing on the role of nurses in prevention and treatment.