Hepatitis B and C Screening Rates Remain Low Among High-Risk Populations
Sixth Volume of eViralHepatitis Review Aims to Raise Clinicians' Awareness of Screening Needs and New Treatments
Many people at risk for HBV and HCV are not being screened appropriately. "There are now highly effective targeted treatments for both HBV and HCV, but they are useless if someone doesn't know they're infected," explained eViralHepatitis Review faculty member Raymond T. Chung, MD, director, Hepatology and the Liver Center, vice chief, Gastroenterology, at Massachusetts General Hospital. "Volume 6 of eViralHepatitis Review educates clinicians about barriers like cultural stigma that may keep people from seeking HBV testing; the need to screen people at increased risk of HCV; and new HCV treatment strategies for special populations."
People from certain cultures, such as Asian and African immigrants, may feel ashamed to learn they have HBV and are reluctant to discuss it with family and friends. Therefore, they shy away from being screened. One goal of Volume 6 of eViral Hepatitis Review is to help clinicians develop plans to overcome barriers to screening related to cultural and societal biases associated with HBV. In addition, new therapies now exist which are more effective than older regimens and associated with a better safety profile. Volume 6 of eViralHepatitis Review fills the gap between connecting patients with these improved treatments by educating clinicians on how to remove existing cultural stigmas and barriers.
More people at high risk of HCV are also in need of screening, such as baby boomers (those born between 1945 and 1965) — who account for 80% of HCV cases in the U.S. — and people who inject drugs (PWID), who contribute to more than half of HCV cases (particularly young adults). As recently as 2015, only 13.8% of people were being screened for HCV, highlighting the need for increased awareness among primary care providers.
Moreover, despite the development of highly effective cures for HCV, clinicians are not sufficiently aware of how to use them in special populations at risk of complications, nor do enough clinicians consider "pangenotypic"
• Improve HCV screening among high-risk populations like baby boomers and PWID
• Learn HCV regimens for people who are coinfected with HIV, have chronic kidney disease, are incarcerated, or are women of childbearing age who have other HCV risk factors
• Understand the value of pangenotypic treatments and the patients who are most likely to benefit from them
eViralHepatitis Review was created for providers including primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, hepatologists, gastroenterologists, and infectious disease physicians. Volume 6 consists of four online newsletters and four podcasts.
The Success of eViralHepatitis Review
eViralHepatitis Review now has more than 5,900 subscribers after a successful Volume 5. For Volume 5, there were 44,530 email opens, 2,600 page views, 845 app downloads, and 2,991 podcast downloads. Ninety percent of clinicians reported an increase in their confidence in caring for patients with viral hepatitis, and 82% reported practice improvements after completing the program.
The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
Credit Designation Statement
The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine designates this enduring material for a maximum of 6 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
Volume 6 is supported by educational grants from Gilead Sciences, Inc., and AbbVie., Inc.
DKBmed is an integrated continuing medical education company operated by a team of medical education experts. DKBmed provides health care professionals with effective medical education that closes identified knowledge and practice gaps with the goal of improving patient health.
Working with accredited providers, DKBmed develops innovative educational programs and quality improvement initiatives and specializes in bringing new learning methodologies to the CME landscape. DKBmed was an early adopter of case scenarios with recorded and live actors, TED/DKBmed Talks, 3D animation, webcasts, podcasts, e-mail, and smartphone applications for clinicians and patients. These forward-thinking approaches enable health care professionals to learn using state-of-the-
DKBmed's programs are accessible through the company's web site (www.dkbmed.com)