Department of public health hosting free Hepatitis C testing

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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The El Paso Health Department is offering free Hepatitis C testing this month in Central El Paso as part of Hepatitis Awareness month.

Residents can visit 701 Montana on May 19th between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. or 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. for tests. The Hepatitis C virus infects liver cells and about 25 percent of those infected will clear the it but 75 percent of people will develop chronic infections.

Chronic conditions can progress to cirrhosis and end-stage liver diseast. Populations at risk for the Hepatitis C virus are HIV patients, “baby boomers,” and individuals who are intravenous drug users.

“People with the highest risk of developing chronic Hepatitis C are baby boomer adults born between 1945 and 1965” Irene Ovalle, HIV program manager with the health department said. “With one in four people living with HIV co-infected with Hepatitis C, we continually encourage testing to empower people to know their status.

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