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May is Hepatitis Awareness Month

hep-testing-dayMay is National Hepatitis Awareness month and Governor Doug Ducey has proclaimed May 2015 as Hepatitis Awareness Month in Arizona.
An estimated 4.4 million Americans are living with chronic Hepatitis and most do not know they are infected. Over 100,000 people contract Hepatitis B and approximately 17,000 people contract Hepatitis C, each year.
Viral Hepatitis is a leading cause of liver cancer and liver transplants. Most people with Hepatitis B and/or C do not know that they are infected. They often feel no symptoms and symptoms of chronic Hepatitis infection can take up to 30 years to develop.
Hepatitis B is a liver disease caused by the Hepatitis B virus (HBV). It ranges in severity from a mild illness, lasting a few weeks (acute), to a serious long-term (chronic) illness that can lead to liver disease or liver cancer.
Transmission: Contact with infectious blood, semen, and other body fluids from having sex with an infected person, sharing contaminated needles to inject drugs, or from an infected mother to her newborn.
Vaccination: Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all infants, older children and adolescents who were not vaccinated previously, and adults at risk for HBV infection.
Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the Hepatitis C virus (HCV). HCV infection sometimes results in an acute illness, but most often becomes a chronic condition that can lead to cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer.
Transmission: Contact with the blood of an infected person, primarily through sharing contaminated needles to inject drugs.
Vaccination: There is no vaccine for Hepatitis C.

  • Among adults, an estimated 10% of new Hepatitis A cases and 20% of new Hepatitis B cases occur in MSM. MSM are at increased risk for Hepatitis C if they are involved in high-risk behaviors. The best way to prevent Hepatitis C is by avoiding behaviors that can spread the disease, especially sharing needles or other equipment to inject drugs.
  • People who inject drugs (PWID) are at risk for Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection through the sharing of needles and drug-preparation equipment. Because of higher rates of infection among this population, CDC also recommends testing anyone who has injected drugs for HBV and HCV infection.
  • People born from 1945 through 1965 are five times more likely to be infected with Hepatitis C than other adults. The CDC recommends all people born from 1945-1965 get tested for Hepatitis C.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends that MSMs and PWIDs get vaccinated against Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B.
Please join community partners COPE, El Rio, Living Out Loud, National Community Health Partners, Banner University Medical Center, Pima County Health Department, and Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation on May 19, 2015 to get your free Hepatitis test. Locations and times listed below:
COPE Community Services
620 N Craycroft Rd
(520) 519-8550
8am-7pm Hepatitis C testing
COPE Community Services
1501 W Commerce Court
(520) 741-3180
8am-7pm Hepatitis C testing
COPE Community Services
24345 N Castro Ave
(520) 584-5820
8am-7pm Hepatitis C testing
Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation
375 S Euclid Ave
(520) 547-6128
8am-7pm Hepatitis B & C testing
Living Out Loud
3130 E Broadway
(520) 327-4505
10am-7pm Hepatitis B & C testing
PCHD Mobile Unit
Downtown Library
7am -12pm Hepatitis C testing
SAAF Mobile Unit
Santa Rita Park
Hepatitis B & C testing
To receive testing at other times, please call (520) 628-7223

Step Up- Stand Up- Take Charge of Your Health!