NVHR’s Policy Priorities

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NVHR advocates at the federal level for increased access to hepatitis B and C prevention, testing, treatment, and care services. In 2016, our public policy priorities include:

Hepatitis C Treatment Access:
In the new era of direct acting antivirals, people living with hepatitis C now have treatment available offering high cure rates, few to no side effects, and significantly shorter regimens. Unfortunately, the tremendous potential of this public health achievement has been dampened by an escalating crisis in treatment access. NVHR believes that everyone with hepatitis C deserves to be cured and will advocate for short and long term solutions to end discriminatory barriers. 

Hepatitis B and C Testing Recommendations Implementation:
On the heels of successful campaigns to improve hepatitis B and C testing recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), NVHR is working to ensure that the guidelines are implemented in public and private health care systems.

Support the Vietnam Era Veterans Hepatitis C Testing Enhancement Act (H.R. 5922). This legislation is bipartisan and budget-neutral, and serves to further the ongoing commitment to eradicating hepatitis C in meaningful ways. This Act establishes a one-year pilot program for five veterans integrated service networks (two rural and three urban) to implement the collaborative outreach model (which prioritizes coordination with veterans service organizations to reach veterans outside of the VA system) to test at least 350,000 and includes reporting requirements to gauge the success of the effort and the feasibility of broader/nationwide adoption.

More information on the Vietnam Era Veterans Hepatitis C Testing Enhancement Act (H.R. 5922) here.

View the sign-on letter to support this act here. Contact Dane Christiansen to sign on.

Increase Federal Funding:
NVHR is committed to supporting creative strategies - legislative, administrative, and regulatory - to secure additional federal funds to fight the hepatitis B and C epidemics.

Hepatitis and Drug User Health:
Communities of people who inject drugs have not only very high prevalence of hepatitis C, but are also at high risk for new infection. They are also systematically being denied access to new curative therapies and science-based prevention strategies. NVHR supports drug policy initiatives aimed at increasing access to harm reduction services, drug treatment options, and prevention of hepatitis B and C through addressing the opioid/heroin addiction crisis.

Hepatitis and Health Equity:
The hepatitis B and C epidemics, and their unchecked growth among communities of color, drug users, immigrants, the incarcerated/returning citizens, and others, are symptoms of larger systems of stigma and health inequity. NVHR is committed to supporting health equality both from a hepatitis-specific and a broader systemic perspective, to improve the health status of those living with or at risk for hepatitis B and/or C infection, as well as our communities overall.