May 13, 2011
NMAC Statement on HHS Action Plan for the Prevention, Care and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis The following is a statement from National Minority AIDS Council Deputy Executive Director Daniel C. Montoya:
Washington, DC — “The National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC) applauds the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) release of its Action Plan for the Prevention, Care and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis. The plan, which outlines an evidence-based strategy for combating the epidemic, is a critical first step in ensuring a coordinated response to this highly infectious and potentially deadly disease, which affects millions of Americans.
“Largely preventable, viral hepatitis is the leading cause of liver cancer in the country, and greatly increases the risk of cirrhosis for those who are infected. What’s more, hepatitis greatly increases an individual’s risk of contracting HIV. Coordinating an effective campaign to mitigate the hepatitis epidemic will not only safeguard the health of millions of Americans who might contract the infection, it will also aid in our nation’s response to HIV and AIDS and reduce co-infections.
“The HHS Action plan calls for significant reductions in all forms of viral hepatitis as well as the elimination of mother-to-child transmissions. While these goals are ambitious, they are achievable, and complement efforts already underway via the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. NMAC urges the entire HIV community, as well as the public health community at large, to fully support HHS and Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in their efforts to combat viral hepatitis.”
Contact: Kyle Murphy, (202) 483-6622 ext. 333