In the News
Draft recommendations on hepatitis B screening in high-risk patient groups. A U.S. Preventive Services Task Force draft recommendation statement calls for hepatitis B virus (HBV) screening in four high-risk groups: HIV-positive people, injection drug users, people who live with or have sex with HBV-infected people, and men who have sex with men. Other patient populations under consideration are asymptomatic adolescents who aren't pregnant; unvaccinated adults; and people who have emigrated from countries where the prevalence of HBV is 2% or higher, as well as their unvaccinated children. Although U.S. HBV prevalence is low, as many as 1.4 million people in the United States have chronic HBV. And even though the number of new cases reported in 2011 (the most recent figure available) was only about 3,000, as many as 6.5 times that number likely go unreported. A large percentage (between 47% and 95%) of people living with chronic HBV in the United States come from countries where prevalence is high (2% or higher).