January 26, 2010
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's recently established Hepatitis C Task Force will be holding a series of public meetings as it crafts recommendations. Some 12,000 people with hepatitis C virus live in San Francisco, and one HCTF aim is to identify local service providers and resources. Plans for boosting diagnoses and awareness of HCV are also part of its charge.
"The key is going to be public awareness and educating medical providers to ask questions and get people tested," said task force member Alan Franciscus of the Hepatitis C Support Project.
HCV is transmitted through blood, and reports in recent years have highlighted outbreaks among HIV-positive gay and bisexual men in the United States and Europe. Risk factors included fisting, rough sex, group sex, and nasal drug use. HCV is also easily passed from mother-to-child and through sharing drug injection needles and equipment.
Bay Area Reporter (San Francisco)
01.21.2010; Liz Highleyman