May 19 is National Hepatitis Testing Day, promoting screening for hepatitis B and hepatitis C. There is now a rapid diagnostic test for hep C that detects HCV antibodies in fingerstick or venipuncture blood, letting you know if you have been exposed to hep C. Results are available in less than an hour.
Mission Wellness at 2424 Mission (near 20th Street) provides drop-in rapid testing for HCV antibodies at the pharmacy. They are providing free testing through fall, or possibly longer. On May 19, 2016, several Task Force members and a volunteer joined Mission Wellness staff to invite people to be tested and offer information about hep C. It was quite successful and a fun day for us (see below)!
People who test positive with the rapid test are advised to visit a medical provider and get further testing done to see if they have hepatitis C. If they have hep C, it’s highly likely they can be cured. For those who test positive and do not have a medical provider, Mission Wellness offers linkage to SF Department of Public Health providers who treat hepatitis C.
Testing 1 – 2 – 3