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Navigating the Red “C”

Broadcast date: 4/16/2015

Hepatitis C is a silent disease. 

What is it? Hep C is a contagious liver disease resulting from infection with the hepatitis C virus (HCV). It is the most common chronic bloodborne infection in the United States. 1 in 4 U.S. adults, an estimated 3.2 million, are living with an active chronic hepatitis C infection.  Most people who get infected with the Hep C virus develop a chronic, or lifelong, infection. And up to 75% of people with Hep C don’t even know that they are infected. It is a serious disease that can result in long-term health problems, including liver damage, liver failure, and liver cancer. More than 12,000 people die every year from hepatitis C-related liver disease.

Testing is the only way to know if you have Hep C. Who should get tested? The CDC recommends that all Americans who were born between 1945 and1965 get tested. Hep C is treatable. New Hep C treatments are promising, showing high levels of effectiveness, even having the ability to cure the disease in many. Yet they come with a steep price-tag, and both the drug and insurance companies have come under fire for making these cures inaccessible to many Americans.

Join host Kris Kington-Barker as she speaks with David Kilburn the Executive Director with the AIDS Support Network and SLO Hep C Project and Derek Sisting the Hep C Health Educator with the SLO Hep C Project as they discuss the silent disease Hep C, why so many cases go undetected, where to get tested, and new and promising treatments available.

Central Coast Voices is sponsored by ACTION for Healthy Communities in collaboration with KCBX and made possible through underwriting by Joan Gellert-Sargen.