NYC Hepatitis B Coalition Meeting

Posted on July 19, 2011


Last Thursday, I attended the NYC HBV Coalition Meeting.

The Coalition is comprised of various organizations throughout NYC who provide hepatitis B services (testing, screening, referrals) to their community.  Although Asian Americans are at highest risk for developing HBV, it was nice seeing that other communities were also represented at this coalition meeting, such as the Russian community and Caribbean community.

On the agenda was a lot of perinatal hepatitis B information, which I thought was interesting because the only thing I knew about perinatal hepatitis B was that it is transmitted from mother to child (which is what they call vertical transmission).  The information that was the most interesting to me was information on vaccinations that are available to provide to the newborn at birth (I believe there were 3 types of vaccines available?) and also medications that are available for the chronically infected mother to take during her last trimester of her pregnancy (Viread) to lower the risk of transmitting it to the baby.  Although Viread has been approved by the FDA in 2008 for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B, the FDA approved the use of Viread in 2001 for HIV infection with a pregnancy Category B designation (which means that in animal studies, there are no significant risks to the fetus but there have not been adequate human studies conducted).

Also on the agenda was a speaker from Charles B. Wang Community Health Center who spoke about the hepatitis B care management model that is used at Charles B. Wang.  It seems like a tedious model and it includes contacting patients regularly and following up with them to get them the services and care that they need.  It seems to be a pretty good model, since many of the patients are getting the care that they need to manage their hepatitis B infection.

Oh, a link that should be checked out by everyone: Faces of Hepatitis