National Hepatitis Testing Day is May 19
Health District’s Sexual Health Clinic to offer FREE hepatitis C testing, Friday, May 18
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 17, 2018
LAS VEGAS – Millions of Americans may have chronic viral hepatitis and not know they are infected. National Hepatitis Testing Day is an opportunity for the public to get tested. The Southern Nevada Health District is offering FREE hepatitis C testing on Friday, May 18 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at its Mobile Health Clinic which will be at its main location at 280 S. Decatur Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89107. For additional information, contact the Sexual Health Clinic at (702) 759-0708.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that between 850,000 and 2.2 million people in the United States have chronic hepatitis B infection, and 3.5 million people are living with chronic hepatitis C infection. This year on Hepatitis Testing Day, the Health District is encouraging health care providers and patients to discuss risk factors for viral hepatitis and to encourage testing for people at risk.
Rapid hepatitis C testing is also available between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. each Wednesday at Trac-B Exchange, 6114 W. Charleston Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89146. Testing is free, and appointments are not necessary. For additional information contact Trac-B Exchange, (702) 840-6693.
In conjunction with the Southern Nevada Harm Reduction Alliance (SNHRA), the Health District and its partner AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) offer outreach efforts through the AHF mobile testing unit. Screenings for hepatitis C and HIV are offered at several ‘pop up events’ per month. The next event will be Thursday, May 31. Look for final details on the Health District’s website.
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver that may have no symptoms and may not be detected for many years. Chronic hepatitis infections are a leading cause of liver cancer and the most common reason for liver transplantation. There are immunizations to protect against hepatitis A and B, and as a result, hepatitis A cases have declined dramatically. There are lifesaving treatments available for chronic hepatitis B and new treatments that can cure hepatitis C.
According to the CDC, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders make up less than 5 percent of the total population in the United States, but they account for more than 50 percent of the chronic hepatitis B cases. People born between 1945 and 1965 are five times more likely to be infected with hepatitis C than other adults. It is more common among people who received blood transfusions or organ transplants before 1992 and injection drug users.
Many people with hepatitis C have no reported risk factors. People with hepatitis C infection can be asymptomatic for decades. Acute illness with hepatitis C is uncommon, however, between 75-85 percent of people with chronic hepatitis C infection will develop chronic liver disease.
The CDC’s Viral Hepatitis website includes more information on who should receive the vaccine, resources, and a Hepatitis Risk Assessment that can facilitate conversations with patients and their health care providers.
The Southern Nevada Health District serves as the local public health authority for Clark County, Boulder City, Henderson, Las Vegas, Mesquite and North Las Vegas. The agency safeguards the public health of the community’s residents and visitors through innovative programs, regulations, and initiatives focused on protecting and promoting their health and well-being. More information about the Health District, its programs, services, and the regulatory oversight it provides is available at www.SNHD.info.