Alameda County Hepatitis C Eradication Effort Gains Momentum
New Hepatitis C (Hep C) virus infections can be dramatically reduced and potentially eliminated in Alameda County. The County has the fifth highest rate of newly reported chronic Hep C cases among local health jurisdictions in the State. In June 2016, Alameda County HealthPAC invested in capacity building to increase Hep C screening and treatment. Since the initiative started, 50,000 people have been screened. In 2017, a total of 25,282 people were screened for Hep C, and 1,119 people started treatment, 885 completed treatment, and 636 were cured.
“More patients are being screened, treated and cured, and these efforts are bringing people back to good health and restoring their quality of life, says” Ralph Peterson, MD Gastroenterologist.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) the County’s case rate for newly reported chronic Hepatitis C (Hep C) was 72.9 per 100,000 in 2015; the latest numbers available through state-reported surveillance data. This number likely underestimates the infection rate as the biggest source of new infections includes the homeless, incarcerated, and young injection users who are not likely to visit health providers for routine care.
Alameda County is expanding the HCV treatment network incorporating the HealthPAC clinics, current health systems, and private community providers including linkage to substance use and behavioral health treatment for more complex patients. With these consolidated efforts, Hep C can be cured for more people in the County.
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If you are a health care organization interested in finding and curing HCV and need educational support to get started, HCSA is funding in-office education and mentoring from Dr. Ralph Peterson. You may contact Ralph by calling (510) 688-3515 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and introducing your interest to his practice manager Renee Williman.
Jun 11, 2018