Hepatitis C is an increasing cause of morbidity and mortality and the leading cause of chronic liver disease in the United States. Additionally, hepatitis C, which particularly affects the "baby boomer" generation and veterans, is linked to cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer, and is also the leading cause of liver transplantation. Today, the disease is estimated to affect approximately 3.2 million people in the United States alone, making hepatitis C the most common chronic blood-borne infection nationally.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the vast majority (up to 75 percent) of Americans living with hepatitis C do not realize they are infected. This is because with the blood-borne virus can take years, even decades, to cause symptoms, and testing for the virus is not as common as it should be. Unless current trends are reversed, the CDC predicts that deaths due to the virus will double or even triple in the next 20 years. The CDC and U.S. Preventative Services Task Force have both recommended hepatitis C testing for the baby boomer population in order to address hepatitis C infections and stop the spread of the virus, and such testing is covered by private insurance plans and Medicare.
Support and Advocacy Organizations:
Hepatitis Education Project (Washington State organization) http://www.hepeducation.org/
Hepatitis C Association https://www.hepcassoc.org/index.html
Hepatitis Foundation International https://hepatitisfoundation.org/HEPATITIS/Hepatitis-C.html
American Liver Foundation https://liverfoundation.org/for-patients/about-the-liver/diseases-of-the...
World Hepatitis Alliance https://www.worldhepatitisalliance.org/
National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable https://nvhr.org/