World Hepatitis Day 2019

28 Jul 2019

World Hepatitis Day is marked on 28 July each year to increase the awareness and understanding of viral hepatitis. The five main hepatitis viruses are types A, B, C, D and E. ECDC coordinates the enhanced surveillance for hepatitis A, B and C to help countries define epidemiological trends or transmission patterns among newly diagnosed cases.

Latest trends in Europe

European surveillance data show on-going transmission of hepatitis B and, despite a recent slight decline, high annual levels of hepatitis C diagnoses. As hepatitis infection often shows no symptoms, a large number of people have chronic hepatitis without being aware of the infection.

Guidelines for testing

Targeted testing to reach those most at-risk of infection is an essential element of any strategy to eliminate viral hepatitis across the countries in the European Union and European Economic Area (EU/EEA). ECDC’s Guidance on integrated viral hepatitis and HIV testing provides options and ideas based on the latest scientific evidence for national or local hepatitis B, C and HIV testing guidelines and programmes.  

Sustainable Development Goals

Success in increasing the testing uptake should contribute considerably to the elimination of HIV and to combat viral hepatitis as public health threat by 2030 as outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals. Early diagnosis and linkage to care bring strong individual and public health benefits: effective HIV or viral hepatitis treatment either eliminates or suppresses the viruses significantly which in turn means that those on treatment interrupt existing transmission chains, preventing further infections.

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