The first day of Hepatitis Awareness Month coincided with the Pennsylvania Viral Hepatitis Elimination Planning Stakeholder Meeting, convened by the Pennsylvania Department of Health in Harrisburg. We heard from our partners at the Hepatitis B Foundation and Hep B United, Prevention Point, HHS, the CDC, and others from across the state on what it will take to eliminate viral hepatitis in PA. Elimination requires broad support, funding and people power at all parts of the care cascade, but especially for prevention as the incidence of hepatitis is rising. We came away from the meeting recommitted and inspired to continue our work in Philly, with more knowledge about the landscape of hepatitis B and C across the state of Pennsylvania, and with the conviction that eliminating viral hepatitis in Pennsylvania IS possible — but we will need to work closely with our partners at the national and state level to advocate for funding for expanded settings and modes for treatment and for harm reduction, more jurisdictions with enhanced surveillance and data collection, and continued coalitional work. We will have to continue to share insights and best practices. We will need to consider hepatitis B and C together, as we did at the Summit. And it’s the passionate people in the room who represent everyone affected by viral hepatitis who will make sure we can eliminate it in PA.
We live-tweeted our takeaways from the day: go to our Twitter and unfurl those threads to read all about it!