Native News Network Staff in Native Health.Discussion »
WASHINGTON The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended on Friday that all baby boomers should be tested for hepatitis C, a potentially life threatening disease that can lead to liver cancer.
Baby boomers were born between 1945 and 1965. In recent years, baby boomers account for 75 percent of those diagnosed with hepatitis C.
In 2009, American Indian and Alaska Natives were almost twice as likely to develop a case of Hepatitis C, as compared to their Caucasian counterparts.
About 3.2 million Americans are living with chronic hepatitis C in the United States, but most do not know they are infected. More people die each year from hepatitis C than the AIDS virus.
Hepatitis C is widely spread by sharing needles to inject drugs. Prior to screening of blood donations that began in 1992, the disease was spread through blood transfusions.
To decrease the burden of chronic viral hepatitis, CDC's Division of Viral Hepatitis is developing a national education campaign called "Know More Hepatitis." The campaign will be aimed at increasing awareness about this hidden epidemic and encouraging people who may be chronically infected with Hepatitis C to get tested.
Funded in part by support from the CDC Foundation and CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STDs and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP)," Know More Hepatitis" is designed to complement existing hepatitis prevention efforts. The initiative will provide a unique opportunity to build a collective voice about this urgent problem.
posted May 21, 2012 7:59 am edt