- 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.