March 17, 2012

City hitting hepatitis C


Last Updated: 1:41 AM, March 17, 2012

Posted: 1:41 AM, March 17, 2012

The Bloomberg administration is launching a campaign to prevent the spread of the deadly hepatitis C virus, The Post has learned.

The Check Hep C initiative targets high-risk populations in Harlem, the South Bronx, central Brooklyn and parts of Staten Island and Queens.

At-risk populations include drug users who have shared infected needles, people infected with HIV and immigrants from countries with high hepatitis prevalence, including Egypt, Pakistan and the former Soviet Union.

Hepatitis C, when undetected, can cause fatal liver disease.

The city Health Department will award up to $1.3 million in contracts to community-based medical clinics that would provide free counseling and hepatitis C testing.

Patients will also be given a “health coach” to help navigate the medical system. And there will be a community-awareness campaign to reach those at risk.

The Fund for Public Health, the fund-raising arm of the Health Department, is providing financing for the project.


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