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Hep Awareness Month

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May is recognized as Hepatitis Awareness Month in the United States, with May 19th specifically designated as Hepatitis Testing Day. Each year during this month, the North Georgia Health District works diligently to bring attention to the impact of viral hepatitis, advocating for testing and vaccination. By promoting awareness and combatting social stigma, our efforts during Hepatitis Awareness Month aim to enhance public understanding of viral hepatitis transmission and risk factors.

Key Points on Viral Hepatitis: Various viruses can cause hepatitis, with hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C being the most common types.

  • Chronic hepatitis B and hepatitis C are major contributors to liver cancer in the U.S.
  • Hepatitis A and hepatitis B can be prevented through safe and effective vaccines, while hepatitis C is curable with prescribed treatment.
  • The CDC recommends vaccination against hepatitis A and hepatitis B for all adults up to age 59, and for older adults with risk factors. Individuals aged 60 or older without risk factors may opt for vaccination.
  • A significant percentage of people with hepatitis B and hepatitis C are unaware of their infection, highlighting the importance of testing.
  • The CDC advises all adults to undergo testing for hepatitis B and hepatitis C at least once in their lifetime, with pregnant women recommended to be tested during each pregnancy. Testing is crucial for identifying and managing hepatitis infections.

These guidelines and facts underscore the critical need for vigilance in preventing and managing viral hepatitis, ultimately contributing to better public health outcomes and reducing the burden of these diseases.

Find more information about Hepatitis and Hepatitis Awareness Month at


Hepatitis C
Testing is FREE at Health Departments in North Georgia
We provide free Hepatitis C testing for individuals at higher risk of infection. Hepatitis C is a contagious virus that can lead to lifelong liver disease, primarily spread through contact with infected blood. Free rapid testing is available at health departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens, and Whitfield counties.
Residents in one or more of the following categories are encouraged to utilize our free testing:
  • Born between 1945 and 1965
  • Current or past injection drug use
  • Sharing drug equipment
  • HIV positive
  • Received blood transfusions before 1992
  • Received clotting factors before 1987
  • Sexual partner of a Hepatitis C positive individual
  • Received tattoos or piercings in unprofessional settings
Individuals who test positive and qualify can join the Mono-Infected Hepatitis C Treatment program at the Whitfield County Health Department Adult Health Clinic in Dalton. Residents should contact their local health department to determine their need for Hepatitis C testing. For health department contact details, click on the name of the nearest county listed above.