Sunday, July 27, NASTAD released an infographic analyzing viral hepatitis funding. State health departments receive less than $1 dollar in federal funding for every person living with viral hepatitis for the Viral Hepatitis Prevention Coordinator (VHPC) program. The VHPC program is the only national program dedicated to the viral hepatitis epidemics and provides the only public health infrastructure for the prevention of viral hepatitis and linking individuals to care and treatment. In order to meet the goals established by the Viral Hepatitis Action Plan, the VHPC program must continue to be funded in all existing jurisdictions and increased resources are necessary to coordinate prevention efforts at the state and local levels.
Three in four people living with hepatitis C are undiagnosed. Despite the lack of categorical funding for health departments to conduct testing, health departments were able to leverage other resources to test over 125,000 people. The viral hepatitis epidemic continues to grow, with 75,000 new infections each year. Increased funding for viral hepatitis prevention and access to treatment will end the epidemic.
For further policy recommendations on how to end the viral hepatitis epidemic, please click here.
For more information on NASTAD’s past work on viral hepatitis, please click here.
Emily McCloskey is Manager, Policy and Legislative Affairs, National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD). This article was originally published at NASTAD.org. It is reprinted with permission.