Today is World Hepatitis Day
July 27th marks World Hepatitis Day, an annual day founded by the World Health Organization (WHO) to raise awareness for people living with hepatitis and promote the importance for testing and treatment. Hepatitis C (HCV) continues to be a growing concern as more than 4 million people are estimated to have hepatitis C in the US - including 1 in 33 baby boomers (those born between 1945 and 1965 - and as many as 75% of people infected with HCV are still undiagnosed (CDC).
Groups and leaders across the country are announcing new rapid HCV testing initiatives, happening in key cities including NYC, Chicago and Washington DC, which will help encourage thousands of people to take a rapid HCV test.
This is significant because with new blockbuster treatments now available that can cure a large percentage of people with HCV and rapid HCV testing is critical to helping infected people to avoid unknowingly infecting others and receive life saving medical treatment.The Programs:
• Walgreens Pharmacy in DC - A Walgreen's Pharmacy in DC (formerly BioScrip Pharmacy) recently became the 1st pharmacy in the US to implement a rapid HCV testing program. The pharmacy offers simultaneous rapid hepatitis C and rapid HIV testing (with OraQuick) and to date the pharmacy has tested more than 60 people.
• Advocate Trinity Hospital in Chicago - Advocate Trinity Hospital recently established rapid HCV testing programs. Advocate Trinity because one of the 1st hospitals in the country to launch a rapid hepatitis C testing program in its emergency department and has successfully conducted more than 800 rapid HCV tests in just a few months. In addition, Chicago's Haymarket Substance Abuse Center offers rapid testing through a mobile van that visits various high-risk communities in Chicago and has tested 1,300+ people to date.
• Rapid HCV Testing Program Panel - Key leaders will meet at the NASDAQ Marketsite on Friday July 27th in honor of World Hepatitis Day to participate in a special panel that will take place 10-1130am to discuss successful rapid HCV testing programs and process, including the testing approach, challenges, and highlights of each program (i.e. # tested/diagnosed, % results received, % linkage to care w/ treatment). The panel will feature Freddy Molano (Community Healthcare Network, NYC) and Christopher Murphy (Ellis Medicine Family Center, Schnectady, NY) among others.