Caring Ambassadors understands we are living in complex times. Please take a moment and

Breathe

 

 

The Caring Ambassadors Program uses a unique approach in our work to address the elimination of viral hepatitis and specifically hepatitis C.

Our three main methods to combat hepatitis C are to Empower patients and providers to increase their knowledge of hepatitis C to improve access a cure; to Educate systems and communities on how to integrate viral hepatitis services into existing programming; and to Advocate on behalf of patients and communities to create sound policy, funding and messaging. We are honored to serve the community to help eliminate the largest infectious disease outbreak of our time; we promise to be BOLD in our approach to creating paths to health and making hepatitis C history.

The time is now. 71 million people worldwide are living with chronic Hepatitis C right now. It is the largest chronic infectious disease outbreak of our time…and it’s curable. Talk to your doctor about treatment for your Hepatitis C, and don’t take no for an answer.

MY CHOICES© is a tool to help you recognize and act upon what you can control in your health care journey to achieve optimal healing, regardless of the illness you face. It contains elements of a guide book, health planner, journal, and activity book to help orient you to and plan for the journey ahead.

Order Educational Materials

Free brochures and materials

Order Educational Materials. Caring Ambassadors Program believes that knowledge is power. We strive to empower patients, systems and communities to increase their knowledge of hepatitis C in effort to eliminate the largest infectious disease outbreak of our time. 

Weekly News Update.
Caring Ambassadors Program provides 3 weekly news updates covering Lung Cancer News, Hepatitis C News, and My Choices© Update. Receive them delivered weekly to your inbox.

Weekly News Update

Hepatitis C News
Week Ending December 6, 2021

‘Origami’ diagnostic test could help hepatitis C treatment
“A new test for hepatitis C which uses origami-style folded paper to deliver fast, accurate and affordable diagnoses could help the global fight against the deadly virus.”

What to Know About Liver Disease and COVID-19
“If you’re living with liver disease during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may have many questions about whether you are more susceptible to the disease, if it might be more severe, and how it might alter your current treatment.”

FDA Approves 3-Antigen Hepatitis B Vaccine
“The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the recombinant (PreHevbrio) hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccine for the prevention of infections caused by all the known subtypes of HBV in adults 18 years and older.”

Many young people with HCV remained untreated in 2019
“In 2019, only 32% of children and youth who had tested positive for hepatitis C in British Columbia, Canada, had initiated treatment, according to data presented at The Liver Meeting Digital Experience.”

California Mandates That Hepatitis B and C Screenings Must Be Offered
“A new law in California requires health care facilities to offer adult clients free screenings for hepatitis B and hepatitis C, both of which cause inflammation of the liver and can lead to cancer, the need for a liver transplant and death. The law also requires that care and treatment be provided for those who test positive.”

Rapid treatment model improves HCV care in injection drug users
“A simplified, rapid treatment model for hepatitis C virus improved cure rates and the cascade of care among young people who inject drugs, according to a recent study.”

New York City Opens First Supervised Injection Sites in U.S.
“On November 30, New York City won the years-long race to open the first government-sanctioned supervised injection facilities in the United States. During their first few days in operation, staff at the two new sites have already reversed several drug overdoses.”

My Choices© Update
Week Ending December 6, 2021

Nutrition protects against aging better than drugs
“A recent study by the University of Sydney Charles Perkins Centre compared the impact of diets and drugs on the functioning of human cells and aging. The researchers found that nutrition has a significantly higher influence on our metabolic health.”

Get Up and Dance to the Music
“Are you feeling anxious? Stressed? Depressed? According to researchers at the Hong Kong Polytechnic Institute in China, you may be able to help yourself by following the lead of musicians Sly and the Family Stone and, more recently, will.i.am, who told us to “get up and dance to the music!”

A Thorough Guide To Holistic Treatment For Mental Health
“The thought of giving a speech in front of an audience makes you sick to your stomach. Do you choke back tears whenever you hear a kind remark from a close friend or family member? Surely you’ve experienced the agony of overthinking. A mind-body connection has the capacity to transform your life if you’ve had this experience. Thoughts, emotions, and physical health all have a role in one’s overall well-being, whether or not we are aware of it.”

Study confirms correlation between microbiome and glycemic response
“US scientists have shown for the first time that an individual’s gut microbiome activity will influence their glycemic response to foods.”

Health Benefits of Cayenne Pepper
“Looking to add a little spice to your life — or your diet? Cayenne pepper may be just what the doctor ordered. This popular red pepper adds versatile flavor to your meals and is chock-full of health benefits to boot.”

Health benefits of cupping therapy
“Cupping therapy has been a key element of Chinese medicine for hundreds of years and has been seen in many other ancient cultures across the globe. It most recently came to the attention of a wider audience during the 2016 Olympics in Rio, when several athletes, like the swimmer Michael Phelps, were seen with a series of round purple bruises on their skin.”

Anti-inflammatory food superstars for every season
“Berries and watermelon in the summer, kale and beets in the winter. The recipe for anti-inflammatory foods to enjoy can change with the seasons. Your heart, your brain, and even your joints can benefit from a steady diet of these nutritious foods, and scientists think that their effects on inflammation may be one reason why.”

How 11 Minutes of Exercise Can Help You Live Longer
“It’s no secret that exercise is key to a healthier and longer life. As you have likely heard, federal guidelines recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week. Think: five days of 30-minute workouts like brisk walking, dancing or cycling. The guidelines also call for at least two sessions of strength training per week.”

Is It Normal To Wake Up Tired? We Asked A Sleep Specialist
“We all have those mornings once in a while when we’re just not as energized as we’d like to be. It happens to the best of us, but is it normal? To find out what’s really going on when you wake up tired, we spoke with Michael J. Breus, Ph.D., a board-certified sleep specialist. Here’s what he had to say.”

Qigong.

“Qigong is quite literally “Moving Meditation”. As with all meditation practices, Qigong has an incredibly calming effect on the central nervous system. As the mind, breath, and body are connected to the moment, the parasympathetic nervous system is engaged and the brain releases all sorts of feel-good hormones, such as serotonin and dopamine.”
https://theecohub.ca/5-healing-benefits-of-qigong/

Try session 3 of Qigong with Sifu Larry Wong

Click here to view on vimeo
Would you like to try session 2?
Click here

Use the arrows on the sides to scroll through content!

An update from the CDC….

Dear Colleagues,

 On November 19, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued final orders reclassifying two types of hepatitis C diagnostic tests from Class III to Class II, thereby allowing manufacturers to seek marketing clearance through the less burdensome premarket notification (510(k)) pathway, rather than submitting a premarket approval application (PMA), the most stringent type of FDA medical device review. The two types of hepatitis C virus (HCV) diagnostic tests now reclassified are (1) nucleic acid-based HCV ribonucleic acid devices intended for the qualitative or quantitative detection or genotyping of HCV RNA, and (2) certain HCV antibody devices intended for the qualitative detection of HCV antibodies.

Reclassifying these tests is groundbreaking for hepatitis C diagnostics as it may:

  • Expedite, and in some cases facilitate, bringing methodologies such as rapid nucleic acid tests and potentially antigen detection tests for diagnosis of current HCV infection to the U.S. market 
  • Facilitate development of innovative technologies for point-of-care viral detection assays for diagnosis of current HCV infection
  • Decrease cost, increase competition, and provide smaller companies an opportunity to develop new and improved assays which has the potential to decrease diagnostic device costs
  • Shorten the regulatory approval process time and, thus, decrease turn-around time

Discussions and recommendations regarding reclassification of diagnostic tests for HCV started in 2018 and involved many advisory committees and panels to assess the potential risks, safety, effectiveness, and benefits of the devices if cleared under the proposed Class II special controls. CDC appreciates the work of the FDA to facilitate improvements in HCV diagnostic testing and looks forward to continued work to address the threat of viral hepatitis in the United States. 

This work by the FDA coupled with CDC’s HCV screening recommendations sets the stage to increase hepatitis C testing and linkage to curative treatment, reducing further disease transmission, disease progression, and related deaths. 

More information on the reclassification of HCV diagnostic tests is available at: https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-brief-fda-issues-final-orders-reclassifying-certain-hepatitis-c-diagnostic-tests-class-iii-class

Thank you,

/Carolyn Wester/

Carolyn Wester, MD

Director, Division of Viral Hepatitis

National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/

 

/Saleem Kamili/

Saleem Kamili, PhD

Chief, Laboratory Branch

Division of Viral Hepatitis

National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/

 

 /Jonathan Mermin/

Jonathan Mermin, MD, MPH

Rear Admiral and Assistant Surgeon General, USPHS

Director, National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

www.cdc.gov/nchhstp

Join the World Hepatitis Day Movement!

We can’t wait for the pandemic to end to get hepatitis elimination back on track!

Hepatitis Can't wait awareness poster

CDC Releases 2019 Hepatitis Numbers – We are on the wrong road to elimination!

Today, CDC published online the 2019 Viral Hepatitis Surveillance Report for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. This report now includes demographic characteristics of persons with chronic hepatitis B and chronic hepatitis C, including age, sex, race/ethnicity, urbanicity, and US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regions.

National Hepatitis Testing Day Proclamation

The White House

BRIEFING ROOM

 A Proclamation on National Hepatitis Testing Day, 2021

MAY 18, 2021   •    PRESIDENTIAL ACTIONS

Our efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic over the past year have reinforced many public health lessons, including the importance of communication, community engagement, and a comprehensive testing strategy to reduce the spread of infection. These same lessons hold true for another epidemic affecting our Nation: the silent epidemic of viral hepatitis. Viral hepatitis is a serious, preventable public health threat that puts people who are infected at increased risk for serious disease and death. When left undiagnosed and untreated, hepatitis B and hepatitis C can cause liver cirrhosis, liver cancer, and even early death. Hepatitis D, which occurs only among individuals infected with hepatitis B, can also cause serious liver disease.

On this National Hepatitis Testing Day, I call on all Americans who are at risk for hepatitis to get tested, and for all health care providers to educate their patients about viral hepatitis.

Our Nation has set a goal to eliminate viral hepatitis by 2030. Thanks to Federal investment in medical research, we have the technology and tools to provide safe and effective hepatitis vaccines and therapeutics that can reduce mortality and even lead to a cure. Despite this progress, an estimated 2.4 million Americans are living with hepatitis C, and more than 860,000 are living with hepatitis B — many of whom unknowingly suffer its effects.

Approximately 200,000 Americans are infected with hepatitis D every year. Infection with hepatitis D in an individual already infected with hepatitis B — known as superinfection — leads to a more rapid progression towards liver cancer. We must increase prevention, testing, and awareness to provide people the life-saving treatment they need. Because of the Affordable Care Act, most health insurance plans must cover hepatitis B and hepatitis C testing with no cost-sharing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends screening and testing for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and hepatitis D based on risk, health status, and pregnancy. It is important we implement these recommendations to ensure proper treatment and help stop the spread of hepatitis. For more information on the recommendations, visit cdc.gov/hepatitis.

My Administration is committed to addressing the health disparities and health inequities, which, as with so many health metrics, are also seen with viral hepatitis. Viral hepatitis disproportionately impacts Black and brown Americans, Indigenous persons, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. The interplay of factors such as poverty, inadequate housing and transportation, food insecurity, access to care, access to addiction treatment and mental health care, medical mistrust, language and cultural barriers, stigma, and discrimination must be addressed if we are to eliminate these health disparities and advance health equity. The recently released Viral Hepatitis National Strategic Plan: A Roadmap to Elimination is focused on making sure more people living with viral hepatitis are tested and aware of their status and providing a roadmap for quality care and treatment. To read more about the plan, visit hhs.gov/hepatitis.

The viral hepatitis epidemic is also linked with other public health threats, including HIV, sexually transmitted infections, and opioid use. Our response to the public health challenges of viral hepatitis, HIV, sexually transmitted infections, and substance use disorders will require a focus on the people and places where these risk factors intersect, and doing more to test people for viral hepatitis and other infections. We also need to scale-up vaccinations, testing, and care in settings where people at risk receive other services. Implementing point-of-care testing in outreach settings, utilizing clinical decision support tools, and increasing provider awareness and training for implementing testing recommendations will help improve diagnoses and awareness. The ability to reduce viral hepatitis infections will depend on integrated strategies and a comprehensive approach to address our ongoing challenges.

Viral hepatitis exacts a significant toll on our Nation’s health, and the stigma and discrimination associated with the disease further impair the quality of life among those affected. Today, we reaffirm our commitment to ensuring everyone knows their viral hepatitis status, has access to high quality care and treatment, and lives free from stigma and discrimination.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 19, 2021, as National Hepatitis Testing Day. I encourage all Americans to join in activities that will increase awareness about viral hepatitis and increase viral hepatitis testing.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighteenth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States

of America the two hundred and forty-fifth.

 

JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/05/18/a-proclamation-on-national-hepatitis-testing-day-2021/

COVID-19 and Liver Disease

CDC Releases 2025 Strategic Plan

CDC Releases 2025 Strategic Plan for preventing and controlling viral hepatitis in the United States. New outcome measures were identified to track national progress toward these goals. These measures are included in the second publication released today, the online 2021 National Viral Hepatitis Progress Report.

BIGG Elimination Tribute Project

The BIGG ELIMINATION TRIBUTE PROJECT is a module-based training to help establish replicable frameworks for HCV prevention & education using harm reduction strategies.

The overall goal is to build attendees’ capacity, confidence, and knowledge to integrate responsive hepatitis C (HCV) screening, testing, linkage-to-care/cure, and support programs into existing infrastructures.

Learn more about the modules here