Hepatitis Elimination Spotlight: Hep C Free Allegheny on the Path to Elimination
New hepatitis C infections are on the rise across the nation, primarily as a result of increased injection of opioids and other drugs. Located in western Pennsylvania, within the Appalachian Region especially hard-hit by the substance use crisis, Allegheny County recognized the local impact of hepatitis C and is taking action. There is a lot to learn from programs and strategies being undertaken by partners across the nation that can be useful when adapted to other counties and localities.
What is Hep C Free Allegheny?
Hep C Free Allegheny is a county-wide collective, made up of 15 partner organizations, dedicated to improving the continuum of hepatitis C virus (HCV) prevention, diagnosis, care, and treatment. Its goal is to eliminate HCV in Allegheny County. Hep C Free Allegheny approaches HCV as an intersectional issue, recognizing that the opioid, HIV, and hepatitis epidemics are closely intertwined. To that end, the coalition involves champions from many disciplines and empowers people living with or at risk for HCV to have a meaningful role in coalition activities.
How is Hep C Free Allegheny working toward hepatitis elimination?
The coalition’s website offers educational materials and access to resources in the following areas for people at risk of hepatitis C:
- Testing and treatment
- Screening and follow-up care
- Education and prevention
Hep C Free Allegheny recognizes the importance of connecting health care providers to resources that that enable them to better serve their patients. Provider resources include testing guidance, toolkits, trainings, and links to other services to which health care providers often refer their patients, such as the local syringe service program.
The coalition understands the importance of sharing data about hepatitis C. To help their stakeholders access and use data, the website provides links to local, state, and national statistics.
Hep C Free Allegheny envisions a county where new HCV infections are rare and quickly identified, and people with HCV are rapidly linked to care and treated, reducing HCV-related inequities.
For more information about Hep C Free Allegheny, visit its website at: https://www.hepcfreeallegheny.org/.
To learn more about other groups working towards hepatitis elimination, visit Mapping Hepatitis Elimination in Action.
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