May is Hepatitis Awareness Month, and this year Cobb & Douglas Public Health (CDPH) will be partnering with Walgreens (2670 Cobb Parkway, Smyrna, GA) to offer free Hepatitis C testing. The event will take place on Thursday, May 19 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) names Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection the most common chronic bloodborne infection in the United States. According to the CDC, about 3 million Americans have Hepatitis C. Most are baby boomers or people born from 1945-1965. Baby boomers are five times more likely to have hepatitis C, but about 3 in 4 people don’t know they’re infected so they aren’t getting the necessary medical care and treatment.
This is why CDPH is raising awareness about HCV and its risk to the residents of Cobb and Douglas counties, urging the community to take advantage of free testing with the help of local partners.
“When people come together to acknowledge and talk about the health concerns affecting our communities, we are better able to educate residents about the importance of being tested, especially if they exhibit risk factors like sharing needles or having unprotected sex,” said Rachel Franklin, Director of Epidemiology at Cobb & Douglas Public Health. “Having partners like Walgreens helps us get out into the community to offer free testing and discuss prevention techniques, which really improves the quality of life for our residents.”
The word “Hepatitis” means inflammation of the liver. Toxins, certain drugs, some diseases, heavy alcohol use, and bacterial and viral infections can all cause Hepatitis. Hepatitis is also the name of a class of viral infections that affect the liver. Hepatitis C is the most common of these infections. There is no vaccine for HCV, but treatment can save your life.
Call 770-514-2432 to learn more about the free testing event. To learn more about HCV, visit cdc.gov/hepatitis/hcv/index.