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Hepatitis C Advocacy
Federal Legislation
108th Congress
Congressional actions:
Veterans Comprehensive Hepatitis C Health Care Act (Introduced in House 1/7/03)
Veterans Comprehensive Hepatitis C Health Care Act - Directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, during the first year after the enactment of this Act, to provide a blood test for the Hepatitis C virus to: (1) each veteran who served on active military duty during the Vietnam era, or who is considered to be "at risk," and who is enrolled to receive veterans' medical care and requests such care or is otherwise receiving a physical examination or any other care or treatment from the Secretary; and (2) any other veteran who requests such test. Requires the Secretary, after such period, to provide such test to any veteran who requests it. Requires the Secretary to provide followup tests and appropriate treatment for any veteran who tests positive. Prohibits a copayment from being charged for such treatment.
Provides funding for Department Hepatitis C detection and treatment programs, beginning with FY 2004.
Directs the Secretary to: (1) develop and implement a standardized Department policy with respect to such virus; and (2) annually take appropriate outreach actions to notify untested veterans.
Directs the Secretary to establish at least one and no more than three additional Hepatitis C centers of excellence within the Department health care network. Provides funding.
Hepatitis C Epidemic Control and Prevention Act (Introduced in Senate 5/23/03)
Hepatitis C Epidemic Control and Prevention Act - Amends the Public Health Service Act to direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop and implement a plan for the prevention, control, and management of hepatitis C virus (HCV), which shall include strategies for education and training, surveillance and early detection, and research. Requires the Secretary to conduct a biennial assessment of the plan.
Directs the Secretary to support the development of voluntary State, local, and tribal HCV testing programs and counseling. Provides for the vaccination of individuals infected with HCV against hepatitis A and B and other infectious diseases.
Directs the Secretary to support the establishment and maintenance of HCV surveillance databases and to establish and support a Hepatitis C Clinical Research Network.
Allows the Secretary to award grants to States, political subdivisions of States, Indian tribes, or non-profit entities that have special expertise relating to HCV, to carry out activities under this Act.
Directs the Director of the National Institutes of Health to establish a Liver Disease Research Advisory Board.
Expressing the sense of the Congress regarding viral hepatitis. (Introduced in House 2/12/03)
Expresses the sense of Congress that national and community organizations and health care providers should be applauded for promoting awareness about viral hepatitis. Calls on the Federal Government to: (1) raise awareness about the importance of prevention of viral hepatitis, counseling, and treatment; (2) increase funding for prevention education, other prevention measures (such as vaccination), and research; (3) increase efforts to find more effective treatments and cures; and (4) consider ways to improve access to high-quality health care services for early detection and treatment. Calls on the Director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to expand basic, clinical, and genetic research regarding viral hepatitis. Urges the Director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to give priority consideration to establishing a national viral hepatitis round table with Federal representatives and those of private, nonprofit organizations.
Liver Research Enhancement Act (Introduced in House 1/27/03
Liver Research Enhancement Act - Amends the Public Health Service Act to establish the National Center on Liver Disease Research in the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
Establishes the Liver Disease Research Advisory Board to help the Director of the Center develop the Liver Disease Research Action Plan identifying scientific opportunities and priorities of liver disease research. Requires the Director to coordinate the Plan's implementation by the national research institutes, which shall allocate adequate funds for same.
Federal Firefighters Fairness Act of 2003 (Introduced in House and Senate 3/5/03)
Federal Firefighters Fairness Act of 2003 - Amends Federal law to provide that, with regard to an employee in fire protection activities: (1) heart disease, lung disease, specified cancers and infectious diseases shall be presumed to be proximately caused by the employee's employment; (2) the disability or death of an employee in fire protection activities due to such a disease shall be presumed to result from personal injury sustained while in the performance of such employee's duty; and (3) such presumptions may be rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence.
Office of Correctional Health Act of 2003 (Introduced in House 5/6/03)
Office of Correctional Health Act of 2003 - Amends the Public Health Service Act to establish within the Office of Public Health and Science of the Public Health Service the Office of Correctional Health. Requires the Office to carry out public health activities for employees in Federal, State, or local penal or correctional institutions or for persons incarcerated in such institutions (collectively referred to as correctional populations). Includes among such activities disease prevention, health promotion, service delivery, research, and health professions education activities.
Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to States to provide for correctional populations screenings, immunizations, and treatment for hepatitis A, B, and C. Sets forth a matching requirement for such grants. Requires a portion of each grant to be expended to carry out such activities at penal or correctional facilities that are not facilities in which individuals serve terms of imprisonment, including remand facilities.
Prison Rape Reduction Act of 2003 (Reported in House)
9/3/2003--Public Law
(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The expanded summary of the Senate passed version is repeated here.)
Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 - (Sec. 4) Directs the Bureau of Justice Statistics to carry out, annually, a comprehensive statistical review and analysis of the incidence and effects of prison rape. Requires: (1) the review and analysis to be based on a sample of not less than ten percent of all Federal, State, and county prisons, and a representative sample of municipal prisons, that includes at least one prison from each State; and (2) Federal, State, or local officials or facility administrators that receive a request from the Bureau to participate in the national survey and provide access to any inmates under their legal custody.
Establishes within the Department of Justice the Review Panel on Prison Rape to carry out, for each calendar year, public hearings concerning the operation of the three prisons with the highest incidence of prison rape and the two prisons with the lowest incidence in each category of facilities identified. Declares that the purpose of these hearings shall be to collect evidence to aid in the identification of common characteristics of: (1) victims and perpetrators of prison rape; (2) prisons and prison systems with a high incidence of prison rape; and and (3) prisons and prison systems that appear to have been successful in deterring prison rape.
Requires the Attorney General to submit an annual report to Congress and the Secretary of Health and Human Services on Bureau and Panel activities regarding prison rape. Authorizes appropriations for FY 2004 through 2010.
(Sec. 5) Establishes within the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) a national clearinghouse for the provision of information, assistance, and training to Federal, State, and local authorities for the prevention, investigation, and punishment of prison rape.
(Sec. 6) Directs the Attorney General to make grants to to assist States in ensuring that budgetary circumstances do not compromise efforts to protect inmates and to safeguard the communities to which inmates return. Authorizes appropriations for FY 2004 through 2010, with a limitation.
(Sec. 7) Establishes the National Prison Rape Reduction Commission to: (1) study the impact of prison rape on Federal, State, and local governments and on communities and social institutions; and (2) report recommended national standards for enhancing the detection, prevention, reduction, and punishment of prison rape.
(Sec. 8) Directs the Attorney General, within one year after receiving such report, to publish a final rule adopting national standards. Provides for a five percent reduction of any amount of grant funds for prisons that a State would otherwise receive for a fiscal year, unless the chief executive of the State submits to the Attorney General: (1) a certification that the State has adopted, and is in full compliance with, the national standards; or (2) an assurance that not less than five percent of such amount shall be used only to enable the State to adopt and achieve full compliance with such standards, so as to ensure that such certification may be submitted in future years. Requires the Attorney General to publish an annual report listing each grantee that is not in compliance with the standards.
(Sec. 9) Prohibits the receipt of Federal grants by penal facility accredication organizations that fail to adopt accreditation standards for the detection, prevention, reduction, and punishment of prison rape.
CDC Recommendations
“Prevention and Control of Infections with Hepatitis Viruses in Correctional Settings.” Published January 2003
This report consolidates previous recommendations and adds new ones for preventing and controlling infections with hepatitis viruses in correctional settings. These recommendations provide guidelines for juvenile and adult correctional systems regarding 1) identification and investigation of acute viral hepatitis; 2) preexposure and postexposure immunization for hepatitis A and hepatitis B; 3) prevention of hepatitis C virus infection and its consequences; 4) health education; and 5) release planning. Implementation of these recommendations can reduce transmission of infections with hepatitis viruses among adults at risk in both correctional facilities and the outside community. These recommendations were developed after consultation with other federal agencies and specialists in the fields of corrections, correctional health care, and public health at a meeting in Atlanta, March 5--7, 2001. This report can serve as a resource for those involved in planning and implementing health-care programs for incarcerated persons.
23rd Meeting
Hubert Humphrey Building
200 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC
August 7–8, 2003
Meeting Report
PACHA Treatment and Care Subcommittee Motion #1:
Whereas, Hepatitis C (HCV) has emerged as an important cause of morbidity and mortality in people infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected, and
Whereas, HCV induced liver damage has become the leading cause of liver transplantation in the United States and 10,000 to 12,000 people die each year of HCV-associated end-stage liver disease (ESLD), and
Whereas, up to one-third of all HIV-infected people in the U.S. may be coinfected with HCV and the progression of HCV is accelerated in HIV positive individuals and ESLD has become a leading cause of death in those with HIV disease, and
Whereas, the best current combination therapy for HCV infection succeeds between 50 and 80 percent of the time depending upon genotype of HCV, and the range and severity of its side effects can seriously affect patients' quality of life, adherence and chances for a successful outcome, and
Whereas, the treatment of HCV requires an integrated multidisciplinary approach including gastroenterology/hepatology, infectious disease, mental health, substance abuse treatment and support services, and
Whereas, prevention for any condition is the most efficacious and cost effective treatment, and
Be it resolved that an increase in basic and clinical research exploring novel treatment strategies and targets to combat HIV/HCV co-infection effectively; an expanded emphasis upon research targeting the reduction as well as management of the side effects of HCV treatment, and
Be it resolved that PACHA urges the President of the United States and the Secretary of Health and Human Services to provide strong leadership as demonstrated by: an emphasis upon and funding for community-based screening and education; an integrated multidisciplinary treatment and care approach for those coinfected with HIV and HCV;
Be it further resolved that PACHA recommend that HCV testing be emphasized and continue to be a standard of care as defined by the Public Health Service for all those persons who test positive for HIV, and
Be it further resolved that PACHA recommend to the President of the United States and the Secretary of Health and Human Services to urge states to include medications that treat HCV infection as part of drug formularies to treat the coinfected with HIV and HCV.
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