Prevalence And Risk Of Hepatitis C

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High-risk populations: Early and often in Hepatitis C diagnosis and intervention Inpatient drug treatment facility screening Aura Thomas November 22, 2014 NURS 549 Sonoma State University Significance of hepatitis C relevance, prevalence and risk Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a leading cause of liver disease and is the number-one bloodborne virus in the United States. HCV is a virus identified in 1989 that often results in chronic infection of the blood. This infection harms the human liver, resulting in low-grade inflammation and progressive fibrosis of the liver, cirrhosis, liver cancer and death (CDC, 2011; Pears, 2010). Approximately 1.3-1.9 percent of the population of the United States has been infected or is infected with HCV. HCV…show more content…
There may be the common stigma that substance abusers that are not abstinent are exempt from treatment options. This is not true. Many active users can also receive treatment for their HCV infection, and all HCV-infected persons should be considered for treatment (Nevins, et al., 1999, as cited by Pears, 2010). African Americans are also at greater risk for contracting HCV. While this population makes up about 13 percent of the United States population, they comprise 22 percent of the HCV-infected population. Approximately 25 percent of people infected with HIV are also infected with HCV. In IDUs, this number is even more common with approximately 50-90 percent of HIV-infected IDUs also being positive for HCV (CDC, 2012). Many IDUs are actively infected with HCV. Among the younger IDU population (18-30), the infection rate is approximately 30 percent. In the older and former IDU populations, the rate is 70-90 percent (CDC, 2011). Many high-risk populations have active HCV infection. It is in the best interest of these persons as well as those they might expose to the virus to be tested early and have the earliest opportunity to receive interventions. Appropriate screening for risk is the responsibility of every healthcare worker. A public health concern is that with better screening and early intervention, lives can be saved and quality of life can be improved for those who have and live
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