On February 1, The Support Partnership for Hepatitis C (TSP) launched 877-HELP-4-HEP (877-435-7443), a national helpline for people in the United States living with hepatitis C, according to a TSP statement.

Aided by a database of 25,000 national hepatitis C resources, HELP-4-HEP’s trained peer counselors guide callers through the complexities of screening, diagnosis and treatment, and direct them to medical, mental health and community services. Caller information is stored in a secure database, allowing counselors to make follow-up calls to provide long-term aid, as well as additional emotional support.

"What sets us apart [from other helplines] is our standardized health messaging and the follow-up call feature," said Andi Thomas, HELP-4-HEP’s managing partner. "HELP-4-HEP is designed to maintain contact with callers to improve health outcomes as well as document and measure the impact of our services."

HELP-4-HEP is the result of a partnership by five hepatitis-related nonprofit groups. These are HealthPro (formerly Hep-C ALERT), the Hepatitis C Association, the Hepatitis Education Project, Hep C Connection, and Project Inform.

The helpline’s hours are 9 A.M. to 7 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday. More information is available at www.help4hep.org or by emailing info@help4hep.org.