The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that nearly 4 million Americans more than 75 percent of who are “Baby Boomers” born between 1945 and 1965—are infected with the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) and, because there are often no noticeable symptoms, most don’t know they are infected. Most importantly is to get tested because there is now a cure. HCV is a form of viral hepatitis that is transmitted in infected blood that attacks the liver and causes inflammation which can lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer and liver failure. There are almost 85,000 South Carolinians living with chronic HEP C and SC is ranked 19th in HCV related deaths. In 2013 HEP C related deaths surpassed the total number of combined deaths from 60 other infectious diseases including HIV nationwide.
On Saturday, July 29, 2017 the South Carolina HIV AIDS Council and the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, Inc. (NBLCA), will host HEP C University, a FREE “LUNCH & LEARN” community luncheon to bring Hepatitis C awareness and lifesaving information to the community. “Sound the Alarm: Hepatitis C and Its Impact on the Community”, from 11:00am-3:00pm, at Trinity Education Community and Conference Center, 2521 Richland Street, Columbia, SC 29204.
The speaker for the day will be Ms. Gloria Searson, ACSW, she is the founding Director and Executive Director of the Coalition on Positive Health Empowerment (C.O.P.E.). Ms. Searson is one of the country’s leading authorities in HCV education and community mobilization. She leads the organizations efforts toward the eradication of Viral Hepatitis. She helps people to actively participate in their health care. Her work is inspired by Gandhi’s statement “to be the change that I wish to see in the world”. She is a published author and has presented at various international liver meetings and conferences. Ms. Searson advocacy efforts include testimony before US Congress and the White House. SCHAC Program Coordinator, Ms. Vivian Clark Armstead will moderate the forum.
Through the support from Gilead Sciences, SCHAC will provide free Hep C, HIV and STI screenings. Other free screenings will be provided in partnership with Palmetto Health Office of Community Service through Trinity Baptist Church Health and Wellness Ministry.
-Millennium Magazine Staff