The National Care and Treatment Centre will soon be housing the first Hepatitis C clinic to be established in the Caribbean, as the National Aids Programme Secretariat looks to eliminate cases of Hep-C in Guyana.
This is according to Programme Manager at the National Aids Programme Secretariat (NAPS) Dr. Tariq Jagnarine who spoke to News Update.
“We’re going to be focusing a lot on our STIs which have been put somewhat on the back burner, HEP-C. We are going to be the first country in the Caribbean that will do testing and treatment for HEP-C” he said.
According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Hepatitis C is a liver infection caused by the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) and is spread through contact with blood from an infected person.
It has been labelled as a ‘silent killer’ as most persons would not know if they are infected.
According to the Programme Manager, positive persons will be treated with a medication that has a 95% to 98% cure. Jagnarine explained “there are a lot of persons who would have donated blood and they would have had testing done and they would have encountered Hepatitis C and even HIV cases, some persons would have a co-infection of Hepatitis C and so we want to treat them”
According to the CDC, today, most people become infected with the Hepatitis C Virus by sharing needles or other equipment used to prepare and inject drugs. For some people, hepatitis C is a short-term illness, but for more than half of people who become infected with the hepatitis C virus, it becomes a long-term, chronic infection.
Chronic Hepatitis C can result in serious, even life-threatening health problems like cirrhosis and liver cancer. People with chronic Hepatitis C can often have no symptoms and don’t feel sick. When symptoms appear, they often are a sign of advanced liver disease.