SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Under the “Eliminate Hepatitis C Initiative,” the county has set a goal of reducing the number of new infections of the virus by 80%. They’re also working to cut the number of deaths by 65%. All of this done by the year 2030.
During a news conference Wednesday morning, County Officials along with private health partners introduced how they plan to do that. From initiating robust capacity surveillance, really working within all communities informing them about what Hepatitis C is to giving them the resources they need to be able to screen for this liver disease.
Health Officials say Hep C typically goes unnoticed since most people who get it won’t show symptoms until they develop long-term complications that sometimes occur within six months of exposure.
Tara Stamos-Buesig, executive director of the Harm Reduction Coalition of San Diego County, says they’ve discovered the communities that are heavily impacted by COVID are also impacted by Hepatitis C.
"We need to make sure we get out there to those communities and give them the best access to medication and ability to be treated by love, kindness, and dignity while taking care of their health," Stamos-Buesig says.
Supervisor Nora Vargas says there has been funding set aside to work with all communities including those who are homeless to try and stop the spread and help the county reach its goal.
“There's additional money in the last budget to ensure that we are using these models of preventive care street health making sure we're in the communities supporting the groups that are doing that work," Vargas adds.