Solano County

County offers free Hepatitis C testing

By From page A3 | August 02, 2014

VALLEJO — Rapid Hepatitis C testing is now available at the Solano County Public Health HIV clinic in Vallejo.

Testing is available on a drop-in basis from 5 to 7 p.m. the second and fourth Thursdays of each month at 365 Tuolumne St. The test is confidential and free. Results are available in 20 to 40 minutes, a county press release said.

Approximately 75 percent of people infected with Hepatitis C do not know they have it because there are often no symptoms for several years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There is no vaccine for Hepatitis C, but treatment is available.

“The sooner you know your Hepatitis C status, the sooner you can get treatment and protect your partners from infection,” said Cara Drake, county senior health education specialist, in a press release. “The rapid test is a convenient way for people to learn their status because they don’t have to wait for weeks for the test result. Get the facts and get tested.”

Hepatitis C is a virus that affects the liver and can cause serious health problems including liver damage, cirrhosis, liver cancer and even death, the press release said. It is most commonly passed from person to person through infected blood. Currently, most people become infected with Hepatitis C by sharing needles and other injection drug equipment.

People at risk for Hepatitis C include:

  • Former and current injection drug users.
  • People who have received tattoos or body piercings with instruments that were not sterile.
  • Recipients of donated blood, blood products, or organs prior to 1992.
  • People infected with HIV.

For more information, call 553-5552. The new Hepatitis C testing program in the clinic is funded by the California Office of AIDS.

Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling has been a reporter with the Daily Republic since 1987. He covers Solano County government, transportation, growth and the environment. He received his bachelors of art degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.

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