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BC steps up fight against hepatitis C with more tests for higher-risk populations (B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS)

The program, which is funded in part by a grant from drug-maker Gilead Sciences, is one of several targeted outreach efforts across the country to bring treatment to people who have a higher risk of contracting hepatitis C. (Photo Credit: THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
The program, which is funded in part by a grant from drug-maker Gilead Sciences, is one of several targeted outreach efforts across the country to bring treatment to people who have a higher risk of contracting hepatitis C. (Photo Credit: THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Doctors at an addiction-management clinic in Vancouver have been asking patients a new question when they come in to refill their methadone prescriptions: Do they want to get tested for hepatitis C?

They perform a quick finger-prick test for those who say yes during their regular visit to Vancouver’s Royal Oak Clinic – part of a pilot project that’s bringing hepatitis C testing and treatment to people who have a history of injecting drugs.

Hepatitis C disproportionately affects historically marginalized groups of people, who already face barriers to getting good health care, said Kate Salters, a research scientist with the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS who isn’t involved in the Vancouver pilot program.

Read the full story in The Globe and Mail.

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