CHIPO-NYC Committee Meeting Highlights | 4-29-20


COVID-19 Overview and Resources      
Dr. Jane Bedell, Retired Assistant Commissioner, Bronx Bureau of Neighborhood Health, NYC Department Of Health (now serving as a volunteer for NYC Department Of Health),  

How is the African and Immigrant community affected by COVID-19?

  • Black, Brown and non-White New Yorkers are heavily impacted due to racism e.g. living conditions have effect on infection risk.
  • The Health Department does not collect patient’s place of origin but does collect race/ethnicity and place of residence. The neighborhood data shows pockets of high infection rates in areas are where many immigrants including Africans reside.

When will a vaccine be available?

  • It will likely take more than a year before a vaccine is available.
  • In the meantime, NYC is developing plans to do contact tracing, where we work with people who test positive for having the virus and then get in touch with contacts, isolate people who are infected and their contacts in order to break the cycle of transmission.
  • Contact tracing will help NYC as part of the phased plan to reopen businesses and test more people.
  • The City is hiring 1,000 Contact Tracers:
  • The State is hiring over 6,000 contract tracers:

How are minorities affected?

  • Non-Whites are overrepresented in cases, hospitalizations and death. The Health Department posts daily data here:

What is the test?

  • There are two kinds of test: the “PCR” test, that tests for the virus itself (using a nasal swab), and the antibody (or “serology”) blood test, which tests to see if a person has ever, in the past, had the virus.
  • Health and Hospitals have opened locations for PCR testing. See here or call 844-NYC-4NYC (844-692-4692) or 311
  • The antibody test indicates if the person was ever infected. This test is currently being developed and is not ready for mass use.

Is re-infection possible after recovery?

  • Current science is inconclusive. People do not know if or how long antibodies are protective.

What is the difference between transmission via droplets or airborne?

  • Measles, for example, is an “airborne” virus that lingers in the air for several hours.
  • COVID-19 can be transmitted via droplets e.g. when someone sneezes. Droplets drop on the ground or surfaces, but recent science is showing that some linger in the air. In spaces like churches for example, where many people have stayed for hours, the droplets can linger in the air.
  • For more information go to the NYC DOHMH coronavirus website

Difficult-to-Treat HCV Subtypes in Sub-Saharan Africa
Annette Gaudino, State & Local Policy Director, Treatment Action Group,

  • An estimated of 5.5 million people in sub-Saharan Africa could be infected with difficult to-treat genotype 4r and non-1a/1b subtypes.
  • Clinicians must consider resistance testing before treatment and test for subtype if cure was not achieved after treatment.
  • Advocate to guide the development of optimal treatment protocols for difficult-to-treat subtypes and medication availability (low cost brands and the production of generic brands) in affected countries.

Check Hep B and C Low Cost Care Sites Update 
Umaima Khatun, Check Hep B Program Manager, NYC Department Of Health,
Diana Diaz-Muñoz, Check Hep C Program Manager, NYC Department Of Health,

  • Navigators are calling current patients to identify needs related to COVID or viral hepatitis
    • Monitoring treatment adherence visits via tele-health.
    • Rescheduling non-urgent medical visits to mid-late summer unless there is a required treatment for Hep B infected moms.
      • No new treatment initiation at the current time

New Hep B Foundation Hepatitis Awareness and Education Materials for the African Community -Announcement from Sierra Bodor, Public Health Program Manager, Hepatitis B Foundation,

Materials can be accessed through the CDC or CHIPO national website:

  • A presentation for community health workers and physicians on hepatitis B basics, and tips for providing education and dispelling myths when educating
  • A flipchart for direct community education
  • Fact sheets and resource sheets
  • African immigrant #justB patient storytellers videos

Hepatitis Awareness Month in May
Sarah Ahmed, Communications and Community Engagement Coordinator, NYC Department Of Health,

  • To celebrate Hepatitis Awareness Month this year, NYC Viral Hepatitis organizations will join a Twitter Chat on May 14th from 1-2 PM united by the hashtag #HepFreeNYC.


Publicize Your Events

To add your event to the Hep Free NYC calendar and share with CHIPO-NYC and Hep Free NYC partners email us:


Upcoming Events



  • Special enrollment period for health insurance will remain open through June 15, 2020 for New Yorkers without health insurance can apply for a plan through NY State of Health.



In Attendance

  1. Aboudramane Berte, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene,
  2. Adeeba Khan, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene,
  3. Anna Shats, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene,
  4. Annette Gaudino, Treatment Action Group,
  5. Arslan Mohamed, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene,
  6. Bryn Gay, Treatment Action Group,
  7. Christelle Onwu, New York City Commission on Human Rights,
  8. Danaity Yemane, African Services Committee,
  9. Diana Diaz Munoz, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene,
  10. Elizabeth Gordon-Dudu, Community Health Action of Staten Island (CHASI),
  11. Evelyn Botwe, National Black Leadership Commission on Health,
  12. Farma Pene, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene,
  13. Jane Bedell, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene,
  15. Kim Nichols, African Services Committee,
  16. Lilly Perry, Sauti Yetu Center for African Women and Families,
  17. Marie Bresnahan, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene,
  18. Mohamed Kante, Viral Hepatitis Community Partner,
  19. Nadine Kela-Murphy, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene,
  20. Halimatou Konte, African Services Committee,
  21. Nirah Johnson, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene,
  22. Nyashadzashe Makoni, Mount Sinai Health System,
  23. Olorunseun O. Ogunwobi, CUNY – Hunter College,
  25. Rokhaya Gueye, African Services Committee,
  26. Sarah Ahmed, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene,
  27. Shanda Kearse, Community Health Action of Staten Island (CHASI),
  28. Sierra Bodor, Hep B Foundation,
  29. Umaima Khatun, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene,

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CHIPO-NYC is a coalition of organizations and individuals interested in addressing the high rates of hepatitis B and C infections among African communities in the U.S. Our goal is to bring together NYC organizations, services providers and advocates who are dedicated to ending hepatitis B and C in African communities throughout the city.


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