5. Prevention and Control Activities
I figured I'd start with the issue of
prevention, and maybe put the definitions of some terms up here - this
is public health 101. Primary prevention is no new infections.
That's the thing that we all strive for, and is the most
important. But remember that, as I showed you before,
we still have a number of people in the United States that are
chronically infected, and so we've got to deal with people who have
already acquired an infection. And that starts dealing with the issue of
secondary prevention - and what do I mean by that? Well, that is the person, and I will use
hepatitis B as an example, who is chronically infected, and you want
to prevent him from transmitting it to others. The easiest way with that disease is that
you are vaccinating the people in their household and their sexual or
close contacts. So that is secondary prevention - with
hepatitis C it is making sure that you are not transmitting to others,
which is a hard task, but something we need to be thinking
about. And lastly, is tertiary prevention, and that
is really medical evaluation and appropriate treatment, which may take
on the form of anti-virals, or may take on the form of liver wellness,
making sure that we don't further injure an already somewhat
compromised liver. So that is how I use prevention, and this
theme that you are going to see through the rest of my presentation,
is that this is what we ought to be thinking about.
4. What Will It Take to Eliminate Viral Hepatitis?
6. Where Are We Today?