AMPHS Partners with Latino Commission on AIDS to offer Hep C Screenings

latino aids logoAMPHS is honored to announce that beginning November 2013, it will initiate a partnership with the Latino Commission on AIDS to provide community members with Hepatitis C and HIV/ AIDS screenings during AMPHS’ in-house events.

The Latino Commission on AIDS is a nonprofit organization founded in 1990 with the goal of preventing and fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS in the Latino community—one of the primary populations that AMPHS serves. Founded in New York, the Commission is now active in 40 US states and Puerto Rico. Recognizing that factors such as social stigma, language barriers, immigration status, and accessibility are preventing people from seeking care leading to higher infection rates, the organization offers a range of services to address these issues:

  • Access to knowledge – Organizing campaigns that educate the general public about HIV prevention and treatment.
  • HIV prevention Working closely with organizations serving women, adolescents, and members of the LGBTQ community to implement programs for HIV prevention.
  • Advocacy – Organizing National Latino AIDS Awareness Day, a country-wide event for HIV testing, prevention and education.
  • Research – Collecting, analyzing, and publishing data in peer-reviewed journals.
Hep C Fingerstick Test Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Hep C Fingerstick Test
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Hepatitis C is a disease closely linked to HIV/AIDS that is caused by the hepatitis C virus and primarily affects the liver. Infection with the virus can lead to illness that could be very mild to a condition that is very serious, leading up to liver cancer and cirrhosis. In a manner similar to HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C is transmitted through contact with bodily fluids. There is no vaccine for hepatitis C, so prevention is the best cure.

Working closely with the Hispanic population of Sunset Park, AMPHS recognizes that hepatitis is a common, but under-diagnosed disease affecting a number of community members in the area. The two organizations hope that the partnership will help address invisible cases of the disease and provide community members with the proper treatment options, regardless of health insurance and documentation status.

Screening for hepatitis C consists of fingerstick blood tests to determine whether a person has the hepatitis virus and measure the quantity of virus in the blood and its genetic makeup. It is usually conducted alongside a HIV oral swab test. Results for both tests are ready after 20 minutes. Individuals tested positive for Hepatitis C will be referred for follow-up testing and treatment with a primary care physician.

For more information about the Latino Commission on AIDS, visit

http://www.latinoaids.org/.

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