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Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C (HCV) is the most common blood-borne virus in the United States, with 4-5 million Americans currently infected.

Injecting drugs with contaminated syringes or other injecting equipment (including cookers, cottons, water and tourniquets) is the leading cause of HCV infection, with the majority of people who inject drugs having been infected. Left untreated, hepatitis C can cause serious liver disease, including cirrhosis and liver cancer and HIV-positive persons coinfected with hepatitis C are at greater risk for liver damage. Managing HCV can often be complicated by stigma, criminalization and even denial of basic human rights and health care.

Fortunately, there is increasing evidence to support a range of prevention approaches as well as newly approved medications that have doubled cure rates and shortened the length of treatment for many. In addition, a new rapid hepatitis C test gives us another chance to make counseling, diagnosis, and linkage to care work.
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