Just like HIV, Hepatitis C is a major health issue affecting the African American community. In the US, people of all races are adversely affected by a Hepatitis C infection. However, for reasons that are not yet understood, African Americans have disparate clinical features (for example, response to therapy) and more complications from Hepatitis C infection than Caucasians.In fact, African Americans are twice as likely to be infected as opposed to other races. Today, of the 3.2 million people infected with Hepatitis C, 22% of them are African American. According to the Center for Disease Control, chronic liver disease, often Hepatitis C related, is a leading cause of death among African Americans age 45-64. In addition, African Americans have a substantially higher rate of chronic Hepatitis C infection than Caucasians and other ethnic groups.
It must be noted that there is currently NO vaccine for Hepatitis C, and the best way to avoid infection is to avoid behaviors that may spread the virus. As always, you can make an appointment or walk right in to W.O.M.E.N. and we can test you for HIV and Hepatitis.