A new report by the National Medical Association (NMA) urges African Americans to get informed, get tested and consider new treatment options for the hepatitis C virus (HCV).

The peer-reviewed consensus paper Hepatitis C: A Crisis in the African American Community shows that more than 75 percent of all people living with hep C are baby boomers (people born from 1945 to 1965) and that black baby boomers are nearly twice as likely to have the virus than their white counterparts.

The report also explains that African Americans are less responsive to many hepatitis C treatments, in part because most African Americans have a specific HCV strain.

Nonetheless, the report provides hope for people living with hep C, thanks to recently approved therapies that boast much better cure rates, even in patients who have previously failed treatment. The report also highlights the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) promise to step up its efforts to address hepatitis-related health disparities among African Americans and other at-risk groups.