Hawaii Department of Health Releases Hepatitis C Prevention, Treatment Plan
The Hawaii Department of Health is set to release a newly developed plan to fight hepatitis C in the state, the Associated Press reports. The plan will outline the state's policies for surveillance, education, prevention and treatment of the disease, health officials said. Because hepatitis C, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases are associated with similar transmission risk factors, the health department is attempting to integrate hepatitis C prevention into existing public health prevention services and programs, according to Peter Whitica, chief of the department's STD/AIDS Prevention Branch. More than 5,000 cases of hepatitis C have been reported in the state since 1997, officials said. However, officials said that the number of people in the state with hepatitis C could be as high as 20,000 because the virus does not always produce symptoms. Officials are urging people who engage in high-risk behavior to be tested for the disease (Associated Press, 10/16).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.