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Advocacy / Policy

About the Viral Hepatitis Action Coalition

The Viral Hepatitis Action Coalition (VHAC), composed of private sector organizations in collaboration with CDC's Division of Viral Hepatitis and the CDC Foundation, was launched in January 2010. All partners of this alliance show a demonstrated commitment to making meaningful advances in the prevention, screening and treatment of viral hepatitis.

With the advancement of therapies for viral hepatitis and the release of a report from the Institutes of Medicine, CDC and its partners are at a crossroads in making dramatic progress in addressing this disease. The Coalition will provide an overall framework to respond to upcoming issues of importance in the field, guide a national education campaign and support CDC-led research and program evaluation.

The Coalition will work with the CDC Foundation to help CDC form public-private partnerships to launch CDC-initiated projects. Industry partners will be invited to partner with the CDC Foundation in supporting these projects as it suits their respective interests.

The Coalition's first priorities will be to increase awareness and to fund essential research to build the evidence needed to revise the national recommendations for HCV screening and testing. Initial VHAC projects include:

  • Birth-cohort Evaluation to Advance Screening and Testing for Hepatitis C (BEST-C)
    view proposal
  • National Hepatitis Education Campaign
    view proposal

News Release: CDC Foundation Launches Viral Hepatitis Action Coalition

Charter Members

Gilead Sciences
Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp.
OraSure Technologies
Tibotec Therapeutics
Vertex Pharmaceuticals


The CDC Foundation is currently seeking additional members. In addition to supporting the overall Coalition, members will have the opportunity to fund and partner with CDC on CDC-led research and education projects as priorities are identified. Coalition members also will support CDC by sharing research data, connecting CDC to appropriate stakeholders and networks, and providing feedback on the information and tools needed in the field to respond to the recommendations outlined in the IOM report on hepatitis.

Other critical, implementation partners in the hepatitis community – from academia, patient advocacy and nonprofit groups – will be engaged in every research and education effort of the Coalition to ensure community-wide input into improving screening and treatment of viral hepatitis. For more information about membership, please contact Leah-Lane Lowe, Assistant Director of Public-Private Partnerships, CDC Foundation, .

About Viral Hepatitis

Chronic viral hepatitis caused by hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus represents a major health problem for the United States. CDC estimates that approximately 3.2 million Americans are chronically infected with hepatitis C virus, with an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 hepatitis C virus-related deaths annually. The incidence of acute hepatitis C declined during the 1990s but has plateaued in recent years. While the incidence of acute hepatitis B has declined markedly since 1990, an estimated 1.4 million Americans remain chronically infected, with an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 chronic hepatitis B virus-related deaths per year. In the United States, African-Americans are disproportionately affected by chronic hepatitis C virus infection, representing 12 percent of the U.S. population but approximately 22 percent of those with the disease. A disparity by race exists for Asian/Pacific Islanders, who represent only 4 percent of the U.S. population, but over half of those with chronic hepatitis B infection.

Institute of Medicine (IOM) Report

Hepatitis and Liver Cancer: A National Strategy for Prevention and Control of Hepatitis B and C
Released: January 11, 2010

Available online: www.iom.edu/viralhepatitis
Additional information: www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/IOMnews.htm

About CDC's Division of Viral Hepatitis

In collaboration with domestic and global partners, CDC's Division of Viral Hepatitis (DVH) provides the scientific and programmatic foundation and leadership for the prevention and control of hepatitis virus. DVH conducts research, surveillance, education and training, and evaluation to facilitate policy and design interventions to address the most common forms of viral hepatitis in the United States: hepatitis A virus (HAV), hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV). These unrelated viruses are transmitted through different routes and require specific prevention strategies. CDC also conducts surveillance and investigation of other forms of viral hepatitis, particularly those common in other parts of the world, and serves as a WHO Collaborating Center for Reference and Research on Viral Hepatitis.

Learn more: www.cdc.gov/hepatitis

About the CDC Foundation

The CDC Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization that helps CDC do more, faster, by forging effective partnerships between CDC and corporations, foundations, organizations and individuals to fight threats to health and safety. The CDC Foundation currently manages approximately 200 programs in the U.S. and around the world. Each project involves a talented team of CDC experts and at least one outside funding partner.

For More Information

For information about becoming a member, please contact:
Leah-Lane Lowe, CDC Foundation, 404.523.3496 or

For more information about VHAC activities, please contact:
Amy Remick, CDC,