CDC should work with other federal agencies and state and local governments to form partnerships with health-care providers, private organizations (including employers and nonprofit organizations), schools, and appropriate community organizations to develop awareness programs and campaigns to educate the general public and at-risk populations about hepatitis B and hepatitis C. The programs should include shared resources that are linguistically and culturally appropriate and support integration of education about viral hepatitis and liver health into other health programs that serve at-risk populations. Successful programs like those discussed above should serve as models for interventions and existing materials, such as the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists patient education materials on viral hepatitis (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 2007, 2008, 2009), should be used as a basis for producing linguistically and culturally relevant materials.
Innovative approaches should be developed to address populations that have access to few educational programs including foreign-born people from the highly HBV endemic regions, men who have sex with men, IDUs, and household and sexual contacts of people who are chronically infected with HBV and HCV.
Programs should be evaluated to ensure that they are effectively targeting the general public and at-risk people and populations. The general public should be targeted because HBV and HCV infections occur in people not easily identifiable as belonging to an at-risk population or people who fail to report potential risk factors (Daniels et al., 2009). The results of evaluation of the programs will inform future initiatives. The programs should incorporate interventions that meet the following goals:
Promote better understanding of HBV and HCV infections, transmission, prevention, and treatment in at-risk and general populations.
Promote increased hepatitis B vaccination rates among children and at-risk adults.
Educate pregnant women and women of childbearing age about hepatitis B prevention.
Reduce perinatal HBV infections and improvement of at-birth immunization rates.
Increase testing rates in at-risk populations.
Reduce stigmatization of chronically infected people.
Promote safe injections among IDUs and safe drug use among NIDUs.
Provide culturally and linguistically appropriate educational information for all persons who have tested positive for chronic HBV or HCV infections and those who are receiving treatment.