It is estimated that there are up to 3.9 million Americans living with chronic hepatitis C (HCV). Most are unaware of their infection, leaving them vulnerable to advanced liver disease and liver cancer. In addition, an estimated 225,000 people with hepatitis C are co-infected with HIV.
Despite these staggering statistics, the federal government has not provided adequate funding or leadership needed to mount an adequate response to the hepatitis C epidemic. Promising new therapies to fight hepatitis C have become available but there is no public health program to provide access to those without insurance until health care reform is fully implemented. Despite the current massive clinical study of dozens of new compounds to treat hepatitis C, very little has been conducted in the HIV/HCV co-infected community.
In response to these challenges, Project Inform has expanded our advocacy to include hepatitis C funding and policy issues at the national and California state levels. We participate in the steering committees of the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable and the California Hepatitis Alliance and help coordinate Hepatitis C Advocates UNITED, the only national grassroots network of individuals advocating on HCV issues. We are leading efforts to ensure that health care reform implementation meets the needs of those living with and at risk for viral hepatitis. We also play a leadership role in the Hepatitis C Fair Pricing Coalition, which advocates for reasonable pricing of new hepatitis C treatments.
As part of a newly formed international coalition of treatment advocates, we help to monitor and speed ethical development of new drugs in clinical development so that the safest and most effective treatments will not only improve but transform current standard of care.
Visit Project Inform’s Hepatitis C Resource page for more information on HCV disease, its treatment and local resources such as support groups.