End Hep C SF- Campaign Progress and Future Considerations
By: Ryane Daniels, MPH
End Hep C SF, a city-wide campaign dedicated to eliminating Hepatitis C virus in San Francisco, aims to increase awareness of risk of Hepatitis C and increase treatment for those most vulnerable. Through state and local funds, SF has employed various methods to provide Hep C vaccines to patients at community clinics and prevent spread of disease (see here).
Over 400 SF patients received treatment for Hep C since February 2016. Successful interventions, including providing Hep C vaccine at methadone clinics, safe-injection drug services, contraception usage, and clinician and patient education, have simultaneously led to reducing disease onset.
Concerns for treating and preventing disease spread persist, especially for key populations, including millennials and baby boomers, of whom remain undetected due to asymptomatic features of the viruses lasting in the bloodstream. Lack of funding to support prevention efforts, in part due to congressional opposition, limits outreach efforts to this untreated population as SF primarily utilizes state and local funds. In addition, lack of housing spreads concerns among many federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) as homelessness is a strong predictor of prescription adherence.