About the Office of Viral Hepatitis Prevention (OVHP)
Numerous programs within the Division of Communicable Disease Control (DCDC) and Office of AIDS (OA) of the Center for Infectious Diseases address viral hepatitis among adults. The Office of Adult Viral Hepatitis Prevention (a program of the DCDC STD Control Branch) coordinates these efforts and works to integrate and collaborate on comprehensive prevention, diagnosis and treatment services for sexually transmitted diseases, viral hepatitis, tuberculosis, and HIV at the patient level, regardless of where the client seeks care.
Below is an overview of the CDPH programs that address viral hepatitis among adults in California.
Disease Investigation & Vaccination
The DCDC Immunization Branch provides technical assistance and resources to support local health departments in conducting hepatitis A and B case investigations. The Immunization Branch, Adult Hepatitis Vaccine Project no longer provides hepatitis A and B vaccine to adults in clinical settings serving at-risk adults. However, information on vaccine patient assistance programs is available at Calhep.org.
The DCDC Infectious Diseases Branch conducts investigation, surveillance, prevention, and control of communicable diseases, including foodborne, waterborne, and healthcare-associated viral hepatitis infections.
The web sites of the Office of AIDS, DCDC Immunization Branch, and DCDC STD Control Branch provide viral hepatitis-related health education materials. The Office of Adult Viral Hepatitis Prevention program page also provides health information resources.
Hepatitis C Counseling & Testing
The Office of AIDS supports local health departments and HIV prevention programs in providing HIV and hepatitis C testing, prevention and referral services. For information about these services see Office of AIDS, HIV and HCV Testing Resources. For information on where to get a hepatitis test near you, visit the California Hepatitis Alliance (CalHEP) viral hepatitis referral guide at Calhep.org.
California law permits local government to increase access to sterile needles and syringes through both syringe exchange programs (SEPs) and through over-the-counter syringe sales in pharmacies. The Office of AIDS provides support and technical assistance to local health departments to increase syringe access.
The DCDC Immunization Branch monitors cases of hepatitis A and B to identify missed opportunities for vaccination, provide post-exposure prophylaxis, identify possible healthcare-associated infections, estimate the disease burden in the population, and provide statistical reports on vaccine-preventable disease trends. The Immunization Branch also currently monitors acute hepatitis C cases to identify possible health-care associated viral hepatitis outbreaks, which are investigated by the Infectious Disease Branch. CDPH is exploring options for collecting sentinel chronic hepatitis C surveillance data, and developing guidance for labs and providers.
The California STD/HIV Prevention Training Center offers courses on STD/HIV clinical and behavioral interventions, partner services and program support for medical, health and community professionals. Courses provide basic information on viral hepatitis, with limited additional training available upon request.
The OA AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) covers viral hepatitis vaccine and hepatitis C medication costs for people living with HIV/AIDS who are eligible for the program.