Maui AIDS Foundation Helps with New Hep C Recommendations
By Wendy Osher
The Maui AIDS Foundation is offering support with the implementation of a new recommendation issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that all persons born in the US between 1945 and 1965 receive a one-time hepatitis C test.
In support of the recommendation, the Maui AIDS Foundation is offering free, confidential Hep C and HIV testing Monday to Friday at their office in Wailuku, located at 1935 Main Street, Suite 101. Results are available in 20 minutes. To schedule an appointment, the number to call is 242-4900.
The new recommendation was issued by the CDC on August 16, 2012. According to the CDC, there are more than 2 million people born between 1945 and 1965 that have hepatitis C, and most do not know they have it because it is often asymptomatic.
In Hawaiʻi, over 25,000 people are estimated to be living with hepatitis C and an estimated 1,673 people on Maui are living with Hepatitis C who are undiagnosed and not receiving care, officials said.
Since 1998, the CDC has recommend Hepatitis C testing for anyone at high risk of infection. This group includes anyone who has been exposed to blood through needle use, blood transfusion or organ transplant prior to 1992, or non-sterile equipment such as home tattoo needles.
The CDC also recommends testing for healthcare, emergency medical, and public safety workers who have been exposed to Hepatitis C, babies born to HCV-positive mothers, and people living with HIV.
The new recommendation includes all persons born between 1945 and 1965, regardless of whether they fall into these risk categories.
***Supporting information courtesy Maui AIDS Foundation.