This is very exciting news. I'm hoping with the increase in media attention, there will be increased discussion and research, and hopefully reduced stigma. It's about time!
I am planning on going to the San Francisco free testing and education event for hepatitis B & C today. If I can volunteer to help I will be doing that.
As part of the nation’s first National Hepatitis Testing Day (May 19,, 2012), San Francisco Hep B Free and the San Francisco Hepatitis C Task Force are collaborating to provide free hepatitis B and C testing and education at the Asian Heritage Street Festival.
The CDC’s Director of Viral Hepatitis, Dr. John Ward, Mayor Ed Lee, Supervisor Scott Wiener, Supervisor Eric Mar, other elected officials, and community leaders will discuss the viral hepatitis epidemic on the Celebration’s stage and tour the testing and education services.
The CDC has declared May as Hepatitis Awareness Month and the U.S. Department of Health and Services has established May 19th as National Hepatitis Testing Day as a key component of its National Viral Hepatitis Action Plan. The San Francisco Hepatitis C Task Force and San Francisco Hep B Free are partnering to increase awareness about viral hepatitis in San Francisco and to make hepatitis B and C screening the standard of care for at-risk populations.
Important facts about hepatitis C from the CDC.
* One in 30 baby boomers – the generation born from 1945 through 1965 – has been infected with hepatitis C, and most don’t know it. Hepatitis C causes serious liver diseases including liver cancer, which is the fastest-rising cause of cancer-related deaths, and the leading cause of liver transplants in the United States.
* More than 2 million U.S. baby boomers are infected with hepatitis C, accounting for more than 75 percent of all American adults living with the virus. Baby boomers are five times more likely to be infected than other adults.
* More than 15,000 Americans, most of them baby boomers, die each year from hepatitis C-related illness, such as cirrhosis and liver cancer, and deaths have been increasing steadily for over a decade and are projected to grow significantly in coming years.
* CDC estimates one-time hepatitis C testing of baby boomers could identify more than 800,000 additional people with hepatitis C, prevent the costly consequences of liver cancer and other chronic liver diseases and save more than 120,000 lives.
* Funded efforts will focus on groups that are disproportionately affected by the disease, including Asian-American Pacific Islander communities who have the highest rates of hepatitis B, and injection drug users and individuals born from 1945 – 1965 who are most affected by hepatitis C. These efforts align with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Action Plan for the Prevention, Care and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis, which was released in May 2011.
* Adding additional tools and resources to the CDC Know More Hepatitis website, including a new online Hepatitis Risk Assessment tool. This tool is designed to help people determine their risk for viral hepatitis.
"African Americans are twice as likely to be infected with hepatitis C when compared with the general U.S. population and chronic liver disease, often hepatitis C-related, is a leading cause of death among African Americans ages 45-64.
While African Americans represent only 12% of the U.S. population, they make up about 22% of the chronic hepatitis C cases. In fact, African Americans have a substantially higher rate of chronic hepatitis C infection than do Caucasians and other ethnic groups.
I'm just wondering...do we even have any African American males represented, on this Forum?
I live in Oakland, Ca, where 10% of the black men here are infected with the Hep C virus. Please help us to spread awareness!!!
The Berkley free clinic is **** free testing today.
You can check out their web site for details.
Correction: 10% of African American males, in Oakland, in the Baby Boomer category (45~65 yrs) are infected with the Hep C virus~
Lets not continue to over-look this population!
What ? I believe I wrote the Berkeley free clinic is doing free testing today.
Why did they mods bleep my words ? This place is getting stranger all the time.
BTW: I was disappointed to be out and about and see announcements for an HIV run in June and nothing, not one thing, about hep C anywhere.
I'd be really curious to see just how many people go out and get tested. I think we've all been through the "Not ME" phase!
This whole situation is a hot mess!!!
As well as some groups being harder hit by the virus they also
have a more difficult time trying to clear the virus. The medications do not clear the virus from Asian American Pacific Islanders or African Americans at the same rate as other members of the population.
Triple tx has helped, but more is needed fast.
There's still lots of work to be done. We want EVERY person identified with
Hep C to have the possibility of SVR.
The Hepatitis C Crisis
Hepatitis C is the most common, chronic blood-borne viral infection in the U.S.
An estimated 5 million Americans have been infected with the hepatitis C virus.
2 out of 3 people are unaware that they have the virus.
Hepatitis C can show no symptoms until advanced liver damage develops.
There is no vaccine to protect against hepatitis C infection.
Early diagnosis is essential to controlling the spread of
Hepatitis C is a treatable disease if identified before significant complications develop.
Regardless of what treatment choice a person makes, it is recommended that:
Individuals with HCV should avoid all use of alcohol and recreational drugs.
Individuals with HCV should be vaccinated against hepatitis A and hepatitis B.
Chronic liver disease is among the top ten killers of Americans 25 years of age and older.
Hepatitis C is the most common cause of chronic liver disease in the U.S. accounting for 40-60% of all cases.
Hepatitis C is the most common indication for adult liver transplantation in the United States.
Complications associated with HCV-related cirrhosis are projected to increase dramatically in the next decade - liver failure by 106%, liver cancer by 81%, and liver-related deaths by 180%.
HCV-related end-stage liver disease is a leading cause of death among people coinfected with HIV.
The social and fiscal costs of HCV are skyrocketing. The projected costs of the current HCV epidemic, if left unchecked, will be over $85 billion for the next decade.
Inadequate funding has seriously impaired HCV prevention and control efforts. Coordinated national, state, and local programs with consistent, sustained funding are essential to mount an effective response to the hepatitis C epidemic.
Adequately funded research is a critical component of HCV prevention and control
So true~ I live in Oakland, Ca, and I go to a support group there. we do have quite a few African Americans, Latinos, and just recently, I have seen a couple Asian American Pacific Islanders come in, as well. There was a problem, with the language barrier, but the younger Asian woman spoke to us about her Mom having Hepatitis, and our group was very happy to see these new folks joining our group : )
Still, the majority of the faces in the room are still Caucasian, so my Doctor is encouraging us to spread awareness. Sometimes discussing racial differences can be a sensitive topic, but when it comes to spreading awareness which can save lives then it is well worth it, to talk about this subject~
I volunteered today here in SF with the California Transplant Donor Network and talked to people about being an organ and tissue donor. We signed up a number of new folks. I worked with my friend Kathy who in a recipient of a liver almost 4 years ago now.
We also networked with the people at the American Liver Foundation and CPMC (California Pacific Medical Center) and the "Hep B Free SF group who were providing educational materials and free hepatitis B &C testing.
The Mayor was there and a number of representatives from the city government.
All in all a great day!!!