U.S. Screening Recommendations
The U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends screening all adults 18 and older for hepatitis B at least once in a lifetime. This recommendation complements the CDC's guidance to have all adults ages 19-59 vaccinated against hepatitis B.
Read the updated screening recommendations here: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).
Call to Action: Eliminating Hepatitis B Virus Through Universal Screening and Vaccination for Adults Ages 19-59: The Hepatitis B Screening & Vaccine Advisory Council has developed guidance on how healthcare providers in various settings can begin implementing universal hepatitis B screening and vaccination. Read more here.
Type of screening
The new recommendation calls for all adults to be screening using the hepatitis B triple panel (hepatitis B surface antigen, hep B surface antibody and hep B core antibody). The triple panel is preferred because it provides a comprehensive view of a person’s hepatitis B status and alerts the provider as to the necessary next steps, including vaccination for susceptible individuals or linkage to care for those infected.
The need for more hepatitis B screening
In the U.S., up to 2.4 million people are chronically infected, yet only 25% of those individuals know they are infected. Without diagnosis and appropriate care and treatment, people with chronic hepatitis B are at significantly increased risk of cirrhosis and liver cancer.
Risk-based testing alone has failed to identify most people living with chronic hepatitis B and is inefficient for providers to implement. Universal hepatitis B screening of adults is cost-effective, and is a critical step in preventing liver disease, liver cancer, and death.
What can you do?
Ask your doctor to get screened for hepatitis B today. Spread the word to your friends and family that this simple blood test could save their life from deadly liver cancer.
The new hepatitis B screening guidelines update and expand previous guidelines for HBV screening and testing by recommending screening for all U.S. adults and expanding continual periodic risk-based testing to include more groups, activities, exposures, and conditions. Read the full recommendation here.
Partners from CDC, University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine and Stanford University School of Medicine have published a JAMA Viewpoint summarizing the role of universal screening in hepatitis B elimination.