Colorado Testing Campaign Finds Link Between HIV, Hepatitis C
A Western Colorado AIDS Project HIV and hepatitis C testing campaign has found an average 12% positive rate for hepatitis C among HIV-positive people and injection drug users who access the organization's services, Cox News Service/Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports.
The hepatitis C positive rate, which is the highest in the state, has remained constant since last fiscal year despite an increase in the number of people being tested, Rabeeha Ghaffar, prevention resource director at WestCAP, said. "Usually when you increase the tests the positivity rate goes down, so that is telling me that it is a very alarming concern," Ghaffar said. The testing program began in 2005 after WestCAP staff noticed that 10% of HIV-positive clients also had hepatitis C.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment funds the program, with each test costing $40, and 103 people have been tested this year, compared with 35 last fiscal year, Cox Daily/Sentinel reports (Standish, Cox News Service/Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, 1/8).