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|The Viral Hepatitis Program acknowledges that community testing programs are in a unique position to identify people at risk for hepatitis C, to provide testing and linkage to care. The following information is provided to support efficient community testing for programs that use rapid hepatitis C tests.
There are 116,000 people estimated to be living with chronic hepatitis C in New York City; unfortunately, many are asymptomatic and unaware of their status. Hepatitis C is caused by a virus transmitted through blood that can lead to liver cancer and premature death. People born from 1945-1965, people who have injected drugs, people living with HIV, and men who have sex with men are at risk for hepatitis C and should be tested. Fortunately, hepatitis C can be treated and cured in 8-12 weeks with antiviral medications. However, a person can get infected with hepatitis C again after cure – if they are exposed to infected blood. Our goal is to remind programs that use rapid hepatitis C test kits of the recommended testing and reporting methods for hepatitis C.
Key factors to keep in mind:
There are two phases of hepatitis C infection:
Resources for Community Hepatitis C Testing
Contact Hep@health.nyc.gov or call our Hepatitis Navigation Warm-line (917) 890-0834 for assistance helping your patients get tested, treated and cured.
Diana Diaz Muñoz, Hep C Community Navigation Programs
Viral Hepatitis Program, NYC Health Department
CC: Nirah Johnson, Ann Winters