Colorado: Hepatitis C Awareness and Testing Campaign Launched
May 20, 2011
Hep C Connection is a new awareness and testing campaign aimed at alerting Coloradoans about hepatitis C virus, which is especially prevalent among baby boomers. Those born between 1946 and 1964 account for nearly 70 percent of HCV cases, and a new national study shows that screening baby boomers for the virus could help save 48,000 lives.
"Our relatives, friends, neighbors, and co-workers need to hear the call," said Nancy Steinfurth, executive director of the campaign. "Many Colorado baby boomers are walking around with hepatitis C and don't know it. They can avoid devastating, painful and life-threatening liver disease with a simple blood test. By the time symptoms are noticeable, it's much tougher to treat."
HCV is blood-borne. "Some people don't get tested because they believe that the only way to have contracted [HCV] is through intravenous drug use, and that's just plain false," said Steinfurth. "The truth is that many Americans, including many veterans, who had transfusions prior to 1992 were infected with hepatitis C before donated blood was accurately screened for the disease."
Hep C Connection links residents with sites across Colorado that offer free and confidential testing; visit www.hepc-connection.org or telephone 800-522-4372.
05.17.2011; Scot Kersgaard
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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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