Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 3 / 18 January 2018

Raising awareness for hepatitis C


(Photo: Lydia Gonzales)
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District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener, left, holds up a T-shirt given to him by Nina Grossman, a member of the San Francisco Hepatitis C Task Force, during an outreach event at Harvey Milk Plaza in the Castro Thursday, July 28, which was World Hepatitis Day. There are an estimated 12,000 San Franciscans infected with hepatitis C, with most not aware of their status. The disease disproportionately affects African Americans, Latinos, veterans, people involved with the criminal justice system, injection drug users, men who have sex with men, people with HIV, immigrants, and low-income people.

Hepatitis C can lead to liver disease, cirrhosis, liver cancer, liver failure and death. In January 2010, the Institutes of Medicine released a national report highlighting the severity of the hepatitis B and C epidemics in the United States and calling on public officials to participate in efforts to prevent, control, and care for the diseases. In May 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released an action plan to mount a comprehensive viral hepatitis prevention, testing, care and treatment effort. The San Francisco task force has released its own report outlining a series of recommendations for the mayor and Board of Supervisors to address the local hepatitis C epidemic. The report can be viewed at

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