We Have Come a Long Way With Hepatitis Vaccines and Curative Therapy


On the day of a FDA PDUFA for a hepatitis B vaccine, it serves as reminder of great progress, but there remains a need to proliferate education especially around the liver.

logo of hepatitis month; Image Credit: Health and Human Services

May is Hepatitis Month and with it comes not only the need to educate the public but a reminder to people about hepatitis vaccines and curative therapies that have come along since the first awareness month.

Image Credit: Health and Human Services

Hepatitis Awareness Month is a time to celebrate the remarkable advances that have been made since the very first awareness month was announced 4 decades ago by Congress at the urging of the newly created (1979) American Liver Foundation. At that time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was aware of only 2 treacherous viruses attacking the liver, a major non-complaining unappreciated organ, causing serious illnesses and multiple deaths. Identified as Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B there was a brief mention of another suspicious unidentified virus causing multiple deaths identified as "Non A Non B Hepatitis."

Vaccines and Curative Therapies
In 1986, a vaccine for hepatitis B was developed by Baruch Bloomberg, MD, DPhil, and was a life saving vaccine and the first to prevent a type of cancer.

After years of research, Michael Houghton, PhD, identified Hepatitis C in 1989 opening the door for additional research that miraculously led to the development of a cure for this deadly disease. Therapies such as the development of direct-acting antivirals has made hepatitis C a curable disease.

The search goes on for treatments, cures, and vaccines by dedicated scientists committed to preventing hepatitis. In the meantime, awareness campaigns continue to call attention to hepatitis viruses that tragically continue to advance their attack on the amazing "life-sustaining liver."

Today, there is an FDA PDUFA for an expanded indication for the approved HEPLISAV-B HBV vaccine for adults on hemodialysis.

Hepatitis infections are preventable:

  • if vaccines are used appropriately; and 
  • if individuals are provided information about their liver needed to motivate them to actively participate in preventing damage to their life sustaining liver by hepatitis viruses.

What You Need to Know

Hepatitis Awareness Month is an opportunity to recognize the significant progress made in understanding and combating hepatitis since its first recognition four decades ago.

Hepatitis infections are largely preventable through appropriate vaccination and education about liver health.

Despite medical advancements, there's a continued need for awareness campaigns and education about liver health.

Limited Liver Education Needs Greater Advocacy

Please join concerned dedicated medical advisors in promoting the inclusion of life saving information about the liver currently absent and tragically withheld for decades by well informed professional medical officials needed to inform and motivate individuals to actively participate in preventing the life threatening damage these viruses cause destroying liver cells, their body's unrecognized life sustaining miracle workers that magically keep their body functioning 24/7.

Current reports that identify the increase in the incidence of viral hepatitis sets off an alarm. However, there can be understandable information and education about the liver—which has been available for decades is glaringly absent from the national health agenda.

Please join us in asking Congress to mandate life saving liver information in schools, government agencies, and the military to address and control the numerous epidemics of diseases including viral hepatitis and related drug abuse, unreported and unrecognized as "liver related" and "preventable."

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