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Outcome measures data should reflect what we are trying to achieve in our goal. However, population level outcomes may also be influenced by factors unrelated to the SHIP interventions. and 1 more... less...

Outcome measures data for Disease Transmission and Vaccination Priority Area

# of people completing HCV treatment


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Data Description and Source

Brandi says Hep might have this. Need to confirm and get data.



Story Behind the Curve


Hepatitis C is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Hepatitis C is spread through contact with blood from an infected person. 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. There is no vaccine for hepatitis C. The best way to prevent hepatitis C is by avoiding behaviors that can spread the disease, especially injecting drugs. Getting tested for hepatitis C is important, because treatments can cure most people with hepatitis C in 8 to 12 weeks.



From 11/11/21 AR online article:

Hepatitis-C is a serious, even life-threatening illness with a cure that's effective in 95% of cases, but many of the more than 30,000 infected Arkansans don't know they have it, according to state and federal health officials.

The state is experiencing an increase of hepatitis-C cases, according to the Arkansas Department of Health. Department officials Wednesday encouraged those who suspect they have been exposed to get tested.

The hepatitis-C virus (HCV) is spread mostly through intravenous drug use and, less often, from mother to child in the womb or during sexual contact, according to the department. It can spread through contact with infectious blood or bodily fluids containing blood. It can be transmitted during activities such as unregulated tattooing, health care mishaps, or sharing razors or toothbrushes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Symptoms include nausea, throwing up, diarrhea, light-colored stool, loss of appetite, fever, abdominal pain, fatigue, joint pain, dark urine and/or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes). However, people often experience mild symptoms or none at all, according to the Health Department.

In more than half of those infected, hepatitis-C becomes a long-term, chronic infection with serious health problems, like cirrhosis and liver cancer, which often arise decades after exposure.


Hepatitis-C is a slow killer, said Dr. Naveen Patil, deputy state health officer and medical director for infectious diseases. In the meantime, that person could be spreading the virus, Patil said.

While data on hepatitis-C were a bit sketchy until the past few years, Patil said 30,000-50,000 cases are being reported in Arkansas annually, and those are increasing by 1,000 new cases each year.


"With hepatitis-C, it's been a game changer over the last five to eight years. Previously, we could only cure 30-50% of the people, and it used to take six months to a year with multiple drugs and shots to cure them," he said. "Now, we have treatment as short as eight weeks up to 12 weeks, and we have a 95% or more cure, and these are pills. No shots, and side effects are minimal."

A blood test is used to figure out if someone has ever been infected with the illness, according to the Health Department. Those who test positive are given follow-up RNA tests to determine if they are infectious and have chronic hepatitis-C disease.

Treatments may be covered by private insurance, federal insurance, Medicare or Medicaid. Those who don't have insurance and are experiencing financial hardships can receive assistance with medication treatments through pharmaceutical companies, the department said in a news release.

Every county in Arkansas has at least one testing clinic. The sooner the disease is treated, the less severe the damage and complications will be, Patil said.


The highest rates of hepatitis-C occur in 20- to 39-years-olds, according to the CDC. Injection drug use accounts for at least 60% of transmission.

Public health experts have tied rising infection rates to prescription opioid abuse, and Arkansas continues to have one of the highest opioid prescribing rates in the country.





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