The day my daughter started kindergarten, her teacher asked that she be transferred to another classroom. She thought my daughter posed a health threat to a classmate who was recovering from leukemia.
Our doctor had disclosed my daughter’s chronic hepatitis B infection on her school health form. I thought the school nurse would know my daughter posed no risk to students, who were nearly all immunized against hepatitis B and supervised by teachers trained in universal precautions.
I was wrong on many counts. The school nurse went along with the teacher’s recommendation. After heated discussions with the school principal that included providing copies of medical reports and civil rights laws, my daughter remained in the classroom and the school’s staff received training on universal precautions.
That happened 16 years ago. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) had been enacted 10 years earlier and policy makers, health officials and the courts were still working out exactly how the landmark law would protect people with blood-borne infections such as HIV and hepatitis B and C.
Today, all pregnant women are routinely screened for hepatitis B, but a growing number of doctors say this single test doesn’t go far enough to protect the health of women and children.
In a commentary published in the medical journal Pediatrics, infectious disease specialist Dr. Ravi Jhaveri calls for a mandatory second test in pregnant women infected with hepatitis B. This test would measure the amount of hepatitis B virus (HBV) in her body (called viral load).
This summer, students living with hepatitis B face a task that can be as stressful as SATs, entrance exams or writing college essays – completing their colleges’ health forms.
Some colleges and graduate schools require no medical information while others expect you to document in detail your allergies, immunizations, medical history and even undergo TB testing.
The good news is colleges want to make sure all students are vaccinated against hepatitis B, the bad news is the requirement can force students to disclose their hepatitis B infection. Here are some important things parents and students should know when filling out college health forms.
No school can deny you admission or treat you differently because you have hepatitis B. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination based on disabilities, and that includes hepatitis B.
Father’s Day, June 21, is a day to celebrate the contributions men make in their children’s lives. It’s also a good day for fathers to acknowledge how valuable they are to their families and how important it is to take care of their health.
Living with chronic hepatitis B can be challenging. Here are some things dads can do to take care of themselves or family members infected with hepatitis B.
1. Get outside and soak in some sunlight and some vitamin D. People with hepatitis B who have vitamin D deficiencies have higher rates of liver damage, cirrhosis and cancer. A healthy diet provides vitamin D, but 80 percent of our vitamin D comes from 15 minutes of exposure to sunlight two to three times a week. So get outside and walk, garden, exercise and soak in some healthy sunlight.
HBF is pleased to connect our blog readers to Christine Kukka’s monthly HBV Journal Review that she writes for the HBV Advocate. The journal presents the latest in hepatitis B research, treatment, and prevention from recent academic and medical journals. This month, the following topics are explored:
HBV Liver Cancer Requires Aggressive Treatment from the Start
Experts: Treat Cirrhotic Patients, Even if Viral Load Is Low
Some Patients Can Safely Stop Antiviral After Four Years
Tenofovir Safe and Effective in Pregnant Women with Drug Resistance
Researchers Discover Why Children Become Chronically Infected
Expert Recommends Treatment for Mental Confusion from Cirrhosis
Antivirals Increase Survival After Liver Cancer Treatment
HBV Patients with Diabetes Have a Higher Risk of Liver Cancer
Long-term Antiviral Use Increases Hip Fracture Rates Slightly
Second Vaccine Series May Be Needed for Children with Celiac Disease
Researchers Find HBV B Strain in Cuba Did Not Come from Africa
What support services are available for patients and families that are facing liver cancer? Are there any assistance programs to help pay for treatment or other costs? What about online or community support?
Listen to this webinar from the Hepatitis B Foundation’s Liver Cancer Connect program. Guest speakers Karla Pillote, a nurse practitioner at Johns Hopkins’ Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington DC, and Andrea Wilson, founder of BlueFaery: The Adrienne Wilson Liver Cancer Association, explain how families can access valuable services.
Why do we have clinical trials? What is involved with clinical trial participation? How do I find a trial that’s right for me? Find out by listening to this webinar from Liver Cancer Connect, a dedicated program of the Hepatitis B Foundation. Presenters Jill McNair of the Center for Information & Study on Clinical Research Participation, and Katelyn Levy, BS, clinical research coordinator at Johns Hopkins Suburban Hospital, explain what clinical trials are and answer frequently asked questions about participating in a trial.