Role of Advocacy, Patient Voice in Hepatitis B

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In this segment of our 6-part discussion on updates and unmet needs within the management of hepatitis B virus focuses on the role of advocacy and patient voice in HBV management.

In recognition of May 19 as World Hepatitis Testing Day and the month of May as Hepatitis Awareness Month, we are launching our latest HCPLive Special Report, which spotlights a conversation between subject matter experts on updates and unmet needs in the management of hepatitis B virus (HBV) in 2024.

Although not discussed with the same frequency and urgency as hepatitis C (HCV) within public health circles, HBV represents a significant impact to public health globally and within the US, where an estimated 2.4 million are chronically infected, because unlike with HCV, there is no cure for these chronically infected patients. However, like HCV, the ongoing opioid crisis in the US has contributed to ballooning rates of acute hepatitis B infection in recent years and only 25% of infected individuals receive a diagnosis, according to the Hepatitis B Foundation.

In the final installment of our 6-part discussion on updates in HBV, the focus shifts toward the role of advocacy and community involvement in improving the care cascade for this disease. Nancy Reau, MD, asks moderator Chari Cohen, DrPH, MPH, to elaborate on the significance of advocacy efforts in prioritizing elimination initiatives and ensuring access to vaccination and treatment globally. Cohen emphasized the need to elevate the patient voice and preferences to better understand the lived experience of HBV and tailor management approaches accordingly.

Andrew Talal, MD, discusses the challenges faced in HBV diagnosis and treatment, particularly the complexity of the pathway, replication, and linguistic barriers for some patients. Cohen reinforced the importance of community-based organizations in providing culturally competent education and support services to improve disease awareness and management.

In this 6-part discussion, our group of experts tackles the following topics:

Panelists:

  • Chari Cohen, DrPH, MPH (Moderator): President of the Hepatitis B Foundation.
  • Nancy Reau, MD: Richard B. Capps Chair of Hepatology, Associate Director of Solid Organ Transplantation, and Section Chief of Hepatology at Rush University Medical Center.
  • Andrew Talal, MD: Professor of Medicine and Founder/Director of the Center for Research and Clinical Care in Liver Disease at the State University of New York at Buffalo - School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
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