Hepatitis C Testing for Baby Boomers More Accessible and Affordable
HealthPro, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, is pleased to announce affordable hepatitis C testing in 45 states, so baby boomers can privately learn their health status.
The Centers for Disease Control announced last week that one in 30 baby boomers (people born between 1945 and 1965) have been infected with the hepatitis C virus. Because many in this age group were infected decades ago and may have advanced liver disease today (even though they have no symptoms) CDC is urging them to get a one-time hepatitis C test.
Hepatitis C infection causes serious liver diseases including liver cancer which is now the fastest-rising cause of cancer-related deaths in the US. Just one test of all the members of this generation may identify 800,000 people who have been infected with hepatitis C, preventing liver cancer and perhaps saving 120,000 lives.
Andi Thomas, HealthPro’s founder and long-time hepatitis C advocate is thrilled with this specific age-based recommendation by CDC. “We cannot delay hepatitis C screening for baby boomers one minute longer. Getting tested means being able to make decisions about your health,” she said.
It is common for adults in this age group to believe they were already tested as part of their annual physical. This is often not the case. In the past, hepatitis C screening was ordered only when a patient showed signs of liver problems or if the doctor suspected a history of exposure to infected blood.
Additional challenges to hepatitis C screening include the cost of the blood tests and concerns about information documented in a permanent medical record.
Ms. Thomas states, “HealthPro’s goal is to make hepatitis C testing affordable, private, and easier to access. This new program includes education and counseling both before and after the test, along with referral to care when people test positive.”
Call 877-HELP-4-HEP (877-435-7443) to learn more about hepatitis C testing. The call is free and completely confidential.