The mission of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is to protect the health and wellness of the people of Illinois through the prevention, health promotion, regulation, and the control of disease and injury. The purpose of the Viral Hepatitis Program is to improve the diagnosis, linkage to care, and surveillance of the viral hepatitides, and to ensure the State is prepared to respond in the event of an outbreak.
Screening services will be available at locations serving individuals at highest risk for viral hepatitis, including people who inject drugs, the homeless, the incarcerated, and those visiting STD clinics.
IDPH will identify and engage partners as members of the “Viral Hepatitis Elimination Technical Advisory Committee” (VHETAC) in order to develop an evidence based viral hepatitis B and C elimination plan. This plan will include strategies to eliminate hepatitis B and C among risk groups (e.g., PWID, persons who are incarcerated, persons who are foreign born for hepatitis B) and other target populations with higher prevalence of hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
Additionally, IDPH will release a competitive funding opportunity for two funded agencies to provide the following bundled services directly or through referrals to clients: HBV and HAV vaccinations, testing and linkage to treatment for infectious diseases including HIV, access to and disposal of sterile syringes and injection equipment, and SUD treatment, as well as other services (housing, employment, etc.).
Fortifying and building the Viral Hepatitis Program will allow the State to better prevent, diagnose, link to care, and respond to outbreaks related to viral hepatitis, thereby improving the overall health of Illinoisans.