Hepatitis B and C are the leading cause of liver cancer worldwide caused by infection with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV). It is estimated that 1 in 12 Asian Americans are chronically infected with HBV, but most are unaware. Hepatitis B can be prevented through vaccination. While there is no vaccine to prevent hepatitis C, HCV infection is curable through treatment!
NEMS’ Hepatitis B and C Elimination Program aims to eliminate HBV and HCV for current and future generations through universal screening and vaccination, perinatal prevention, monitoring, and treatment.
At NEMS, we recommend universal HBV and HCV screening for all adults. HBV and HCV screening are covered by most insurances. We also offer free HBV and HCV testing for all community members and persons without insurance who want to get HBV and/or HCV testing.
The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends universal HBV vaccination for all persons younger than age 60 who do not have evidence of prior HBV infection or immunity upon screening. NEMS offers the 2-dose Heplisav-B vaccine for adults that can be completed over 1 month and the 3-dose HBV vaccine for pregnant women and children that can be completed over 6 months. There is no vaccine for HCV.
NEMS’ Hep B Moms care management program ensures mothers with HBV and their infants receive recommended treatment, monitoring, and vaccination during the perinatal period, when there is an increased risk for mother-to-child transmission.
Monitoring and Treatment
NEMS ensures all persons identified with chronic hepatitis B and C are linked to care with a primary care provider or specialist who can evaluate, monitor, and treat their condition.
NEMS offers routine in-house liver ultrasounds for persons with chronic HBV and HCV at increased risk for developing liver cancer (including men over 40 years of age and women over 50 years of age with HBV and persons with cirrhosis caused by HBV or HCV).
NEMS also offers fibrosis staging with FibroScan, a point-of-care device that measures liver stiffness and fatty liver that is commonly used in hepatology offices and academic institutions.