Hepatitis C Can Be Cured

by Dr John Santoro

The hepatitis virus (HCV) is the leading cause of liver transplantation and liver cancer in the United States. Liver complications due to this disease now have a mortality rate that exceeds HIV. This mortality rate is projected to continue to rise. It is therefore important to screen for and diagnose the disease, and arrange for appropriate treatment.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the United States Public Health Service have recently recommended screening for all baby boomers born between 1945 and 1965. Baby boomers have five times the incidence of hepatitis C compared to the general population. Other high risk individuals for the disease such as those with a history of intravenous drug use, tattoos, intranasal cocaine use and blood transfusions prior to 1992 should also be screened.

The current medications available to treat hepatitis C are not only highly effective with cure rates exceeding 97 percent, but are very well tolerated and without significant side effects. Treatment can be done without the necessity to take shots of interferon as in the past.

If you are at high risk or have been recently diagnosed with hepatitis C please contact the Hepatitis Treatment Center at Atlantic Gastroenterology Associates.