Sunday, November 22, 2015

Exclusive HCV Interview: Lucinda K Porter, RN

Exclusive HCV Interview: Lucinda K Porter, RN
Posted on November 14, 2015

Please tell me a little bit about yourself.
LUCINDA: I was a patient who was infected with hepatitis C in 1988, and I turned that into an opportunity to learn more about hepatitis C. I have been working in this field since 1997. Along the way, I worked at Stanford Medical Center in their Hepatology Division. I’ve also done a lot of writing since the late ’90s, and I wrote two books, both of them on hepatitis C. Currently, I work as a contributing editor for and write for the HCV Advocate. My bio is on my website (

My first question is what do you see as the biggest challenges associated with the hepatitis C epidemic in the U.S.?
LUCINDA: I see three problems. The first is that we need to identify and test those patients who are still undiagnosed. I think that’s a huge issue because they’re not getting screened, particularly baby boomers.

Number two is once they’re screened, we need linkage to care and access to treatment. Many patients are facing huge hurdles trying to access treatment. There are some unscientific, unmedically-based reasons why insurance payers and state Medicaid programs are denying hepatitis C treatment to patients.

The third problem is that we need to do something about the current increase in new infections, particularly in high risk communities such as Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Indiana, as well as in other areas of the U.S. that are having problems with opioid addiction, whether from prescription painkillers or heroin. New hepatitis C and HIV infections are on the rise, and the tragic fact is that there are multiple ways we could prevent these.

Between 2010 and 2013, there was a 150 percent increase in new infections. Twelve states reported a 200 percent increase in new hepatitis C infections in the past few years. It’s really a problem.

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