A consortium of federal agencies has announced the release of an updated blueprint for combatting viral hepatitis in the United States. On April 3, the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Justice and Veterans Affairs issued the three-year extension of the Action Plan for the Prevention, Care and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis, which was originally drafted in 2011.

The plan seeks to achieve various goals by the end of the decade, including: upping the proportion of those who are aware of their hepatitis C status from 33 percent to 66 percent and those who know their hep B status from 45 percent to 66 percent, cutting the number of new hep C cases by a quarter, and wiping out mother-to-child transmission of hep B.

The plan's main priorities include the following: educating clinicians and other community stakeholders in an attempt to reduce health disparities; improving the testing, care and treatment of viral hepatitis in order to prevent liver disease and cancer; improving surveillance of viral hepatitis; preventing all transmission of vaccine-preventable viral hepatitis (which includes hep A and B); cutting down rates of viral hepatitis transmitted through injection drug use; and preventing transmission of viral hepatitis in health care settings.

To read an overview of the plan and find links to the plan itself and more information, click here.