Medicaid removing sobriety requirements for treating people with Hepatitis C is a massive step in the right direction towards ending Hepatitis C in North Carolina. Hepatitis C, which is notorious for having no symptoms until liver damage is present, is contracted via blood to blood contact. The only way to know your Hepatitis C status is to get tested. Testing is quick and simple, with rapid-tests results only taking twenty minutes. So why is Hepatitis C still prominent in North Carolina if it’s curable?
Since the only way to know your Hepatitis C status is to get tested, North Carolinians need better access to Hepatitis C testing. Anyone can get tested for Hepatitis C at their local health department or their primary care provider, however these agencies are currently overwhelmed with Covid-19 cases. Harm Reduction organizations also offer Hepatitis C testing, but require more resources and financial support from their local communities in order to meet the growing demand. North Carolina is one of the top ten states for high rates of Hepatitis C. More funding to increase testing, which will connect people to a cure, can alleviate us of this position.
By: De’Shea Coney
HepConnect Coordinator, North Carolina AIDS Action Network