California: Hepatitis Cases Run Much Higher in Drug Treatment Facilities
August 5, 2011
A recently ended outreach offering hepatitis C virus testing and education in Butte County drug treatment and homeless facilities found high rates of infection in these settings. "Approximately 7.5 percent of the people tested were positive for [HCV]," said Ellen Michels, health education specialist and coordinator for the "Spread the Word, Not the Virus" program. "That's almost four times higher than the infection rate of the general population, which is estimated at 2 percent." An additional 7 percent of treatment facility residents already had HCV prior to the initiative, bringing the total infection rate to 14.5 percent, Butte County Public Health said. The year-long outreach, which was funded by the Sierra Health Foundation, also helped those diagnosed access follow-up testing and treatment.
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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