APHL develops best practices and guidelines, and monitors developments in diagnostic testing for viral hepatitis. The term “viral hepatitis” refers to a group of five viruses: hepatitis A virus (HAV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), hepatitis D virus (HDV) and hepatitis E virus (HEV). These viruses are grouped together based on the clinical outcome of infection -- an inflammation of the liver -- rather than by how closely related they are.

APHL regularly polls its member laboratories to understand testing practices. According to the most recent Viral Hepatitis Survey, the majority (86%) of public health laboratories in the US continue to play a major role in the provision of HAV, HBV and/or HCV testing.

Hepatitis C Testing

In May 2013 CDC released updated guidelines for Hepatitis C virus testing, “Testing for HCV Infections: An Update of Guidance for Clinicians and Laboratorians.” The updated recommendations focus on identification of persons with current HCV infections.

In response to the release of the updated testing guidance for Hepatitis C, the APHL HIV and Viral Hepatitis Subcommittee developed a Frequently Asked Questions document to assist public health laboratories in adoption of the new testing sequence.

The new testing sequence requires an initial screen with an FDA-approved HCV antibody test which, if reactive, is followed by an HCV Nucleic Acid Test (NAT) to detect the viral RNA present in a person with a current infection.

Protocols for APHL Members

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