Next Thursday May 19th, the White House will host a National Hepatitis Testing Day observance, and you can watch the event live. It will be webcast live at from 10:00–12:30 p.m. EDT. The event underscores the administration’s commitment to advancing the fight against viral hepatitis infections in the United States. It is co-hosted by White House Offices of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and National AIDS Policy (ONAP) and coordinated with the support of the Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy in HHS.

The theme of the event is “Responding to Viral Hepatitis in the United States.” It will feature presentations from a number of the federal government leaders in the response to viral hepatitis. Partners from state and community groups will also share their perspectives on key issues facing our country as we work to increase awareness and improve outcomes for those living with hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

Agenda Highlights

Michael Botticelli, MEd, Director, ONDCP and Amy Lansky, PhD, MPH, Director, ONAP will open the session, which will include the following presentations and panel discussions:

  • Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc Acting Assistant Secretary for Health will highlight key federal efforts and Our National Viral Hepatitis Action Plan
  • Presentation of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Viral Hepatitis Testing Recognition Awards
  • Update on the Epidemiology of Viral Hepatitis through 2014, presented by John Ward, MD, Director, CDC’s Division of Viral Hepatitis
  • America’s Opioid Crisis: Fueling Increases in Viral Hepatitis, a panel discussion moderated by Carole Johnson, MA, from the White House Domestic Policy Council.Panelists include:
    • Jonathan Mermin, MD, MPH, CDC
    • Carolyn Wester, MD, MPH, Tennessee Department of Health
    • Sandra Chavez, viral hepatitis parent advocate
  • Expanding Treatment of HIV and Hepatitis Co-Infection, a panel discussion moderated by RichWolitski, PhD, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.Panelists include:
    • Laura Cheever, MD, ScM, HRSA
    • Arthur Kim, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital
    • Gloria Searson, LCSW, Coalition on Positive Health Empowerment (COPE)

Mark your calendars, and share this information with colleagues who may be interested. We hope you’ll be able to join us for this historic observance of National Hepatitis Testing Day from the White House.

Richard Wolitski, Ph.D., is Acting Director, Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; This post was originally published on