The STD Project recently had the pleasure of attending the Hepatitis Summit hosted by the Hepatitis Foundation International thanks to the donation of a very dear friend.
Not only did I learn soooo much about hepatitis – all kinds – I had fabulous company and conversation to make learning an incredibly enjoyable experience.
As a result, I’ve now tons of information to share with you guys and I’ll be doing so over the course of the next couple of weeks. I won’t bombard you with hepatitis post after hepatitis post, but I’ll definitely be posting a lot about it, because our livers are integral to our health.
Today’s post will be the first in my Hepatitis Summit posts and talks about STD statistics – hepatitis in particular – in order to give you a sense of how many people are affected by these viruses.
Remember, the liver is a silent organ and doesn’t complain when it’s infected. Most people are unaware they have been infected with hepatitis A, B or C, and without testing one often doesn’t know until extensive damage has been done – irreversible damage.
Hepatitis C (HCV)
- Approx. 3-4 million people are infected in the United States
- Average age at diagnosis – 55 (most asymptomatic)
- About 15-20% diagnosed already have cirrhosis
- 17,000 new infections occur annually (US)
- > 15,000 deaths occur annually (US)
- Accounts for 5% of all acute hepatitis infections (lasting less than 6 months)
- Accounts for 60-70% of all chronic hepatitis
- Accounts for 50% of cirrhosis, end-stage liver disease, and hepatocellular carcinoma (a form of liver cancer)
- 40-50% of all adult liver transplants
- 73% of HCV-related deaths occurred in adults aged 45-64 years
- Those born from 1950-1959 are disproportionately affected
- HCV Rapid Antibody tests have a very high (98-99%) positive and negative predictive value
- 15-45% of Hep C infections detected early and during the acute stage recover
HIV – Hepatitis C Co-Infections
- 25% of all HIV infected persons are co-infected with Hep C
- End-stage liver disease is the leading cause of death in HCV/HIV coinfected patients (31%), surpassing AIDS (29%), cancer (9%), cardiovascular disease (8%), and bacterial infections (7%)
- Up to 40% of HCV/HIV coinfected patients can achieve an SVR (sustained virologic response) with peginterferon + ribovirin
Hepatitis B (HBV)
- Up to 7 days – how long the Hep B virus remains active on a surface
- 35,000 annual acute infections in the US – the most common form of acute viral hepatitis
- 1.25-2 million chronic infections in the US
- > 3,000 deaths occur annually (US)
- More than 350-400 million chronically infected worldwide
- Responsible for up to 80% of all hepatocellular carcinomas (a form of liver cancer)
- More than 600,000 deaths worldwide annually
- Chronic Hep B is the major global cause of progressive liver disease
- HBV is 100 times more infectious than HIV
- Adults between the ages of 20-49 have the highest rate of HBV infection
- 95% of adults recover within 6 months
Hepatitis A (HAV)
- 25,000-30,000 Americans infected annually
- 1 in 1,000 suffers from a sudden and severe infection
- The Hep A vaccine provides protection within two weeks after first injection
- A second injection can last for up to 25 years
- A vaccine combining Hep A & B can be given to individuals > 18
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What do you think about the statistics above? Were you surprised by some of those numbers? Have you been vaccinated for hepatitis A & B yet? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!