Hepatitis Awareness Month: Recognizing the Syndemic of Viral Hepatitis, HIV, STIs, and Substance Use Disorder
Content From: HIV.gov•Published:May 03, 2023
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May is Hepatitis Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness that viral hepatitis continues to be a major public health threat in the United States. While we bring attention to viral hepatitis this month, we also recognize that the epidemic of viral hepatitis does not occur in a vacuum, but interacts with other diseases like HIV, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and substance use disorders, also known as a syndemic.
A syndemic is the clustering and interaction of two or more diseases, impacted by social and structural determinants of health (SDOH), that leads to excess burden of disease in a population. As an example, people with HIV have a higher risk for viral hepatitis and worse health outcomes than people without HIV. Therefore, those impacted by any part of the syndemic need to be made aware of and have access to the different prevention and treatment tools for viral hepatitis, including hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccinations, hepatitis B and hepatitis C screening, and hepatitis B and hepatitis C treatment.
The Viral Hepatitis National Strategic Plan 2021-2025 (PDF, 1.68MB) and National HIV/AIDS Strategy 2022-2025 (PDF, 1.76MB) both recommend a syndemic approach that is, a no-wrong-door-approach to healthcare services for viral hepatitis and HIV. When people get tested for HIV, they should also be tested for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and STIs. When people are treated for substance use, they should be screened for HIV, viral hepatitis, STIs and connected to appropriate services.
Below is information about new viral hepatitis resources.
TO CONTINUE READING: https://www.hiv.gov/blog/hepatitis-awareness-month-recognizing-the-syndemic-of-viral-hepatitis-hiv-stis-and-substance-use-disorder/