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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

VIRGINIA: ASG Addresses Concern of Hepatitis C in Charlottesville Community (Charlottesville, VA) (02.03.2014) Aids Weekly Plus

NBC29 reported that the AIDS/HIV Service Group (ASG) in Charlottesville, Va,. has piloted a six-month, community-based hepatitis C rapid testing program that focused on identifying hepatitis C infections among baby boomers in their “mid-to-late 50s, 60s, and 70s.” ASG Chief Executive Officer Peter DeMartino stated that most new HIV infections occurred among young people, but hepatitis C rates were 10 times higher than HIV rates among baby boomers tested by ASG. Two percent of the tests performed in the pilot program resulted in a hepatitis C diagnosis. DeMartino explained that many people with chronic hepatitis C infections were unaware they had the virus because they had no symptoms. The biggest risk factor for hepatitis C was “blood-to-blood” contact, often from sharing needles used for injecting drugs. Although treatment could be difficult, DeMartino noted it was easier to manage co-occurring conditions if people were aware of their hepatitis C infection. ASG also offered counseling and mental health support for people diagnosed with hepatitis C. ASG hepatitis C testing required a finger-stick blood sample. Interested individuals could call the ASG testing coordinator at (434) 979–7714 or make an appointment online at


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Information in this article was accurate in February 5, 2014. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.