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Managing Chronic Hepatitis B

Originally webcast on May 21, 2009

Geoff Beckett, PA-C, MPH
Chief, Prevention Branch
Division of Viral Hepatitis
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently published new recommendations for health care providers that are designed to increase routine testing in the United States (US) for chronic hepatitis B, a major cause of liver disease and liver cancer. Chronic hepatitis B affects the lives of more than one million Americans, many of whom do not even know they are infected. These new recommendations are critical to identifying people who are living with the disease. Testing is the first step to identify infected persons so that they can receive lifesaving care and treatment, which can break the cycle of transmission, slow disease progression, and prevent deaths from liver cancer. The new recommendations are intended to serve as a resource for public health officials, organizations, and health care professionals providing prevention and care services for persons at risk for chronic hepatitis B.  

Dr. Becket will provide an overview of the epidemiology of hepatitis B including the natural history of the disease, disease transmission and disease burden. He will also provide a summary of the new screening recommendations, including new recommendations for public health evaluation and management for chronically infected persons and their contacts.

Program Objectives
After watching this broadcast participants will be able to:

  • Describe the burden of hepatitis B disease in the United States.
  • Identify two high risk groups that should routinely be screened for hepatitis B virus.
  • Discuss the rationale for routine hepatitis B screening in high risk persons.
  • Discuss the management of persons tested for chronic hepatitis B.