Saturday, May 19, 2012

Free hepatitis C tests in some U.S. cities-75% Of People Don't Know Their Infected

NEW YORK, May 18 (UPI) -- OraSure said it is working with Walgreens and health groups to provide free hepatitis C tests in New York, Chicago, Houston, St. Louis and Washington.

Dr. Jay Varma, deputy health commissioner of New York City, said the Check Hep C NYC program was launched Friday by The Fund for Public Health in New York in partnership with the New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene Office.

The city-wide initiative will provide hepatitis C community-based services, including rapid hepatitis C testing for New Yorkers at risk for hepatitis C. The program will aim to test at least 5,000 persons for hepatitis C using the OraQuick hepatitis C virus rapid test.

"With the release of a new hepatitis C virus rapid test, more individuals will become aware of their hepatitis C status and will need hepatitis C virus-related services," Varma said in a statement. "It is imperative that New Yorkers with hepatitis C be linked with healthcare and human services providers in their communities, and Check Hep C is designed to get this done as effectively as possible."

Additional OraQuick hepatitis C virus testing initiatives are also taking place in other U.S. cities.
It is estimated up to 75 percent of those infected with the hepatitis C virus are unaware of their status, and they might also be unaware the hepatitis C virus can be treated with medications.
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Find Hepatitis Testing Year Round Near You
Locate organizations offering Hepatitis testing and additional services vaccines and treatment in the NPIN Organizations Database.

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