CDC Updates Recommendations for Hepatitis B Virus Screening

Risk-based testing recommendations have expanded to include people who are or were incarcerated and those with history of sexually transmitted infections.

HealthDay News Recommendations have been updated for screening and testing for hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, according to research published in the March 10 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Erin E. Conners, Ph.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues updated and expanded the previously published recommendations for identification and management of chronic HBV infection with respect to screening for HBV infection in the United States.

Authors note that recommendations include screening for hepatitis B using three laboratory tests at least once during a lifetime for adults. In addition, risk-based testing recommendations were expanded to include persons incarcerated or formerly incarcerated in a jail, prison, or other detention setting; persons with a history of sexually transmitted infections or multiple sex partners; and individuals with hepatitis C virus infection history. Anyone who requests HBV testing should receive it, regardless of risk disclosure, because people may be reluctant to disclose risks.

“Along with vaccination strategies, universal screening of adults and appropriate testing of persons at increased risk for HBV infection will improve health outcomes, reduce the prevalence of HBV infection in the United States, and advance viral hepatitis elimination goals,” the authors write.

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