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Observing National Hepatitis Testing Day

Companies mentioned in this article: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

WASHINGTON, May 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- May 19 is the third national Hepatitis Testing Day. The observance was established in the Action Plan for the Prevention Care & Treatment of Viral Hepatitis to raise greater awareness of an often silent epidemic. Chronic viral hepatitis affects as many as 5.3 million Americans. Most do not know that they are infected, and are at risk for severe, even fatal, complications from the disease, and can spread the virus to others.

Through this observance, we hope to increase the number of people who know their hepatitis B and hepatitis C status. We encourage people to take a brief online Hepatitis Risk Assessment available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The assessment lets people determine their risk by answering several brief questions anonymously. They can then print tailored recommendations based on CDC's testing and vaccination guidelines to discuss with their health care provider.

We applaud the many health departments, community-based organizations and others that are offering free hepatitis screenings on Hepatitis Testing Day. Please join us in this observance by learning more about viral hepatitis, getting tested if appropriate for you, and sharing what you know with others.

For more information on Hepatitis Testing Day, visit .

Contact: HHS Press Office

(202) 205-0143

SOURCE U.S. Department of Health and Human Services