Lucinda Porter: Hepatitis, the silent epidemic |

Lucinda Porter: Hepatitis, the silent epidemic

Did you know that 75 percent of people with Hepatitis C and 65 percent of people with Hepatitis B are not aware of their infection? Or, that more people in the U.S. die every year from Hepatitis C than HIV?

This is why I joined 75 advocates in Washington, D.C., for Hepatitis on the Hill, a constituent-based advocacy event to address the public health challenges of viral hepatitis.

I know firsthand the importance of viral hepatitis prevention and the devastating effect of restricted access to screening and care. In 1988, a blood transfusion saved my life but left me with Hepatitis C.

I was lucky because I was diagnosed early and cured in 2013. The majority won’t be as lucky if they aren’t diagnosed soon.

Identifying and linking patients to treatments relies on increased investments in public health infrastructure and research. I asked Senators Feinstein and Boxer, and Congressman LaMalfa to support the president’s budget proposal and increase funding to CDC’s Division of Viral Hepatitis to $62.8 million.

I urge your readers to contact our representatives to express support for this important initiative. Together, we can move toward eliminating this silent epidemic.

Lucinda Porter

Grass Valley

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