Screening and Treating Hepatitis C at the Penn Center for Viral Hepatitis

- Infection with hepatitis C is a major

public health problem here in the United States

and throughout the world.

I'm Dr. Vincent Lo Re from Penn Medicine,

and I'm an infectious disease physician

and researcher focusing on chronic

hepatitis C virus infection.

Today I'm going to explain who's at risk

for hepatitis C, how it affects the body,

and what treatments are available for this disease.

Hepatitis C is transmitted primarily through

exposure to blood or body fluids, as a result;

today, 4 million Americans are chronically infected

with hepatitis C and another 170 million people

are infected worldwide.

People who may have an especially increased

risk for chronic hepatitis C and who should

be screened for infection include those who have used

injection or intranasal drugs, received a blood

or cloning factor transfusion prior to 1992,

have undergone hemodialysis, or are children

of hepatitis C infected mothers.

In addition, recent data from the CDC indicate

that people born between 1945 and 1965 have a much greater

risk of contracting hepatitis C, so any baby boomers

should be sure to get screened.

If left untreated, chronic hepatitis C can lead to

cirrhosis, liver cancer, and liver failure.

Fortunately, direct acting oral treatments for

chronic hepatitis C are now available;

these therapies typically require only eight

to twelve weeks of once daily pills, have few side effects,

and result in greater than 94% chance of curing

chronic hepatitis C.

Here at Penn Medicine, we have a multi disciplinary

team of clinicians, nurses, pharmacists, dieticians,

and behavioral counselors; all specializing

in hepatitis C and HIV, hepatitis C coinfection.

We perform a comprehensive evaluation focusing on

hepatitis C and liver health.

Our practitioners provide detailed education

about all aspects of hepatitis C virus infection;

including a proper diet to avoid liver complications.

We have a FibroScan imaging machine that noninvasively

measures liver scarring; so we can accurately evaluate

and treat any liver damage.

Our pharmacists will review medications to ensure

there are no issues with the treatments we prescribe.

We have extensive experience working will all

types of insurance to obtain approvals for

treatment and we are dedicated to working

closely with our patients to cure their

chronic hepatitis C infection.

If you think you or someone you know

is at risk for hepatitis C; or if you're interested

in more information about our program, visit our

website or call 800-789-PENN.

We will connect you to one of our outstanding providers

and start you on the road to a cure of

your chronic hepatitis C infection.