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Viral Hepatitis in Oregon

About Viral Hepatitis

Factsheet on Hep CThe term "hepatitis" means inflammation of the liver. Viral hepatitis refers to a group of viral infections that affect the liver. The most common types of viral hepatitis are hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

Nationwide, an estimated 50% of people living with chronic viral hepatitis are not aware of their infection. Viral hepatitis is sometimes called a "silent killer" because chronic hepatitis B and hepatitis C infections can progress without symptoms for years, with a person learning about their infection after they have moderate to advanced liver disease.

Hepatitis A and hepatitis B can be prevented with vaccination. While there is currently no vaccine for hepatitis C, new, highly effective treatments can cure more than 90% of people with chronic hepatitis C infections, and successful treatment can slow or stop liver disease progression.

The only way to know if a person has viral hepatitis is through testing.

Request the Test

People with health insurance who want to be screened for hepatitis C should see their health care provider and request a hepatitis C screening test.

If you have limited resources due to lack of health insurance, lack of coverage for testing, or limited financial resources, use this list of facilities offering free or low cost hepatitis C screening. (Caring Ambassadors Hepatitis C Program)

Hepatitis C in Oregon

Oregon DataViral Hepatitis in Oregon

Viral Hepatitis in Oregon

Factsheet: Hepatitis C Infections in Oregon

Since reporting started in 2005, over 47,000 hepatitis C (HCV) infections have been reported in Oregon. Studies show that an estimated 50% of persons living with HCV have not been diagnosed, suggesting that as many as 95,000 Oregonians could be infected. It is generally accepted that 5 to 25% of those infected will develop cirrhosis 20 to 30 years later, and 1 to 5 % will develop end-stage liver disease or cancer.

  • Over 5,000 persons with positive hepatitis C tests are reported each year in Oregon.
  • Rates of new infections with hepatitis C and deaths from hepatitis C are higher in Oregon than the U.S. as a whole.
  • Nearly half of new (acute) hepatitis C infections in Oregon from 2009 to 2013 occurred in persons under 30 years of age and the majority of cases were under age 40.
  • The annual number of liver cancer cases in Oregon has doubled in the last 10 years; by 2012, over half of the cases were due to chronic viral hepatitis.
  • In the past five years, 80% of deaths from hepatitis C in Oregon occurred in persons aged 45-64 years.
  • In Oregon, hepatitis C disproportionately affects African Americans and American Indians compared to Whites.

Oregon Hepatitis C Screening Initiative

This initiative is a project within the Oregon Public Health Division to increase hepatitis C testing and detection. Participating agencies develop and implement hepatitis C screening and linkage to care activities.

Factsheet: Hepatitis C Screening Initiative

Get Involved

Oregon's Viral Hepatitis Collective

This community group includes community members and other stakeholders who are interested in addressing viral hepatitis prevention, testing and care. Monthly meetings are held via phone/web. 

Viral Hepatitis Collective Information

Featured

How the Opioid Crisis Could Lead to More Cases of Liver Cancer in Oregon

This OPB interview, featuring Dr. Ann Thomas from OHA, explores the connection between the opioid epidemic and a rise in hepatitis C infections.

Hepatitis Awareness Month Webinar Series

This is a 3-part series on HCV policy and national trends. Earn up to 3 free CE credits.


CONTENT NOTICE

This site contains viral hepatitis prevention messages that may not be appropriate for all audiences. Inclusion of links to external websites does not constitute Oregon Health Authority endorsement. Additional information can be found within the full Content Disclaimer.

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