Free Helpline and App for Hepatitis C Patients Offer Peer Support and Self-Care Tools

Viral hepatitis is known as the silent epidemic, because it is a disease that is both under-recognized and underdiagnosed. Hepatitis can result from infection with several different viruses, including hepatitis C virus (HCV). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that nearly 3.2 million people are chronically infected with HCV and that nearly half are unaware of their infection. Untreated, hepatitis C infection can lead to liver cancer and death; yet, we have more tools than ever before to respond successfully to this epidemic. The availability of expanded coverage for preventive screening for hepatitis C under the Affordable Care Act and new therapies with cure rates over 90% are galvanizing consumer and provider awareness of this important public health issue.
One of the four goals of the national Viral Hepatitis Action Plan seeks to improve HCV testing and linkage to care for the estimated millions of Americans who are living with undiagnosed hepatitis C. The plan also seeks to ensure that individuals, who have been previously diagnosed with HCV— but are not in care— take steps to prevent damage from chronic, untreated HCV infection

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