Los Angeles County Health Officials Discuss Strategies for Fighting Hepatitis C at Third Annual Summit
Los Angeles County, the state of California and the U.S. government have not done enough to fight hepatitis C, Stephen Simon, AIDS coordinator for the city of Los Angeles, told health officials gathered for the Third Annual Los Angeles County Hepatitis C Summit on Thursday, KPCC's "KPCC News" reports. Simon said one in 50 U.S. adults and as many as 650,000 California residents are infected with the virus, which is the leading cause of liver transplants in the U.S. According to a study published in 2000 in the American Journal of Public Health, if a more effective strategy is not adopted to fight hepatitis C, the virus could cause 193,000 deaths, $11 billion in health care costs and up to $54 billion in societal costs in the U.S. between 2010 and 2019, KPCC reports. Health officials at the summit discussed logistical problems involved in providing treatment to incarcerated populations and the homeless, such as poor prison health care infrastructures and hepatitis C medications requiring refrigeration. The segment includes comments from Neva Chauppette, project director of a mobile medical clinic that provides free hepatitis, HIV and STD services, and state Assembly member Paul Koretz (D), who is sponsoring legislation that would allow residents with hepatitis C or HIV to receive liver transplants from the national registry (Rabe, "KPCC News," KPCC, 11/21). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer. Complete audio of a lecture presented at the summit by Chauppette is also available online in RealPlayer.
In addition, KPCC's "Talk of the City" on Monday included an interview with Peter Anderson, a nurse practitioner at the University of Southern California Medical Center, and Alberto Mendoza, co-chair of the Hepatitis C Task Force for Los Angeles County and director of the Southern California office of the Drug Policy Alliance, about what is being done to fight hepatitis C in the state (Beaupre, "Talk of the City," KPCC, 11/21). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.