At least 3.5 million Americans are living with HCV, though it’s likely that there are many more. Approximately three-fourths of this group were born between 1945 and 1965 — the baby boomer generation. Since hepatitis C disease usually has no symptoms early on, about half of those living with it don’t know it.
Because hepatitis C can now be easily cured, one of Project Inform’s most important objectives is to ensure that people who might be at risk for it are tested and treated. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention strongly recommend that all “baby-boomers (born between 1945 and 1965) get at least one hepatitis C test during their lifetime” without the need for a risk assessment or questions asked.
However, physicians and other medical providers may not offer the test themselves, so it is important that patients ask for it. But why? Well, as of the last published data in 2014, less than 10% of people with hep C have been treated and cured. That number has likely improved since then, but there are still millions of Americans in need of treatment.
Last year, Project Inform was honored to receive $500,000 in funding from Quest Diagnostics to support our hepatitis C testing promotion efforts. Among the activities we are carrying out with that support is the production of a series of videos — for patients and providers — to encourage testing of baby-boomers and others. Our first video (in English and Spanish subtitles) was just completed, so please take a moment to check it out!
Please pass these links [English: https://youtu.be/pQsqcbd2508, Spanish: https://youtu.be/MPMZCu5dOKc] along to others you think could benefit from this information. You can also easily embed and re-size the video on your website with these easy instructions. And know that we are more than happy to answer any questions about hepatitis C testing, care and treatment, or prevention on our Help4Hep helpline at 877-HELP-4-HEP (877-435-7443, www.help4hep.org).