In observance of National Hepatitis Awareness Month, which takes place every May, the U.S. government is once again working to increase knowledge of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV), which together affect between 3.5 million and 5.3 million Americans, according to

This month, the departments of Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, and Veterans Affairs will work together to host hundreds of local campaigns across the country to help improve HCV and HBV testing, care and treatment, both in public and among health care providers.

May 19 will mark National Hepatitis Testing Day. Officials hope to screen as many people who are at risk for viral liver disease as possible—including people who inject drugs, baby boomers born between 1945 and 1965, and Asian-American immigrants—three groups who are considered to be at the greatest risk.

In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is creating a social media “thunderclap” on May 19 at noon Eastern time to help spread the message, using #HepAware, #HepTestingDay and #hepatitis hashtags.

Supporters can also send health e-cards to their loved ones online via the CDC’s “Know More Hepatitis” website, share buttons, badges and posters available for download on the site, and download video and radio public service announcements for their own educational sessions and testing events.  

To find a free hepatitis testing or awareness event near you, click here.