Delicately purposed for the nation’s Black women; brown girls, black girls; light-skinned, brown-skinned, and dark-skinned:
“It is clear that information about Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) has not effectively reached the majority of African Americans in this country. According to a public awareness poll conducted by the American Liver Foundation, African Americans, when compared to the general public, are not as aware of the risk factors or symptoms of hepatitis C. Furthermore, a media analysis discovered African American press, a trusted resource which plays a critical role in informing the African American community, features minimal coverage on hepatitis C.
Hepatitis C, the most common blood-borne infection worldwide, is silently killing us, Black women. Like other viruses such as HIV/AIDS, many who are infected are unaware thus, increasing the risk of developing severe liver disease and transmitting the virus to others. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the prevalence of the virus is 3 percent among African Americans, compared to 1.5 percent in the general population.
Within the African American community, chronic liver disease, which is often hepatitis C-related, is a leading cause of death among people between the ages of 45 and 64. About 9.4 percent of African Americans in their 40s are or have been infected with chronic hepatitis C – compared to only 3.8 percent of Caucasians.
In order to raise awareness, connect those affected with treatment, prevent new infections and defeat this silent killer once and for all, we must empower ourselves. As black women, we must make it an effort to get hepatitis C screenings and more importantly know our status.
P.S. Click here to take a short Hepatitis C risk assessment!
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). The ABCs of Viral Hepatitis. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/docs/ABC-Viral-Hepatitis.pdf
Franciscus, A. (n.d.). African Americans and Hepatitis C. Retrieved from http://hcvadvocate.org/hepatitis/factsheets_pdf/African_Americans.pdf
Hepatitis Foundation International. (n.d.). HEPATITIS C: AN EPIDEMIC WITHIN THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY. Retrieved from http://www.hepfi.org/pdfs/Stakeholders/HFI_African_American_HCV_Disparities.pdf