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Prevention Task Force Recommends Hepatitis B Screening for People at High Risk

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) last week issued a new recommendation for hepatitis B virus (HBV) screening of non-pregnant adolescents and adults without current symptoms of viral hepatitis. The task force called for screening of people at high risk for infection including people with HIV, gay and bisexual men, and people who inject drugs.

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May Is Hepatitis Awareness Month

May is Hepatitis Awareness Month in the U.S., an opportunity to promote better understanding of viral hepatitis and to encourage more people to get tested and receive care for hepatitis B and C. Hepatitis Testing Day is coming up on May 19.

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New Hepatitis B Surface Antigen Test Helps Assess Treatment Response

Roche Diagnostics this week announced the launch of a new hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) test to help clinicians evaluate patient response to treatment of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Reduction or clearance of HBsAg is one indicator of good response, along with decreased HBV DNA viral load.

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New Guidelines for Hepatitis B Screening

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force this week released updated guidelines for hepatitis B virus (HBV) screening for adults. The draft recommendations call for screening of high-risk individuals including people with HIV, gay men, people who inject drugs, and people from parts of the world where hepatitis B is common.

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FDA Approves New Roche Hepatitis B Viral Load Test

Roche Molecular Diagnostics last week received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a next-generation hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA test. The automated blood test can be used to determine HBV viral load in people considering or receiving antiviral treatment.

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National Hepatitis Testing Day: Most Infected Are Unaware, All Boomers Should Get HCV Test

In advance of the National Hepatitis Testing Day on Saturday, May 19, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a new recommendation that all Baby Boomers born between 1945 and 1965 should get tested at least once for hepatitis C. Testing Day events will also promote hepatitis B screening, especially for Asian communities. Research shows that a large majority of people with hepatitis B or C do not know they are infected.alt

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Is Routine Hepatitis B Screening Necessary Before Starting Cancer Chemotherapy?

Immunosuppressive chemotherapy drugs can potentially cause the immune system to lose control over hepatitis B virus, but HBV screening is not required for all patients about to start cancer treatment, according to a controversial provisional clinical opinion from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) published in the July 1, 2010 Journal of Clinical Oncology. Clinicians may, however, test individuals at risk for infection or known to have been exposed to HBV.

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Interpreting Hepatitis B Tests

The following table from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides interpretations for Hepatitis B serologic markers. A PDF version is also available.alt

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