James and I don’t have a medical background, we’ve never worked in Public Health, we don’t have power in Washington DC. This has been pointed out to us repeatedly since we started our non-profit. I hear ya naysayers, and I concur. In the words of Jerry Garcia, Somebody has to do something, and it’s just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
Our government should be addressing the Hepatitis-C epidemic. We pay taxes so that we can remain free from infectious diseases. Of course the Govt. isnt God and there is only so much they can do. WELL DO IT. DO what you can, CDC HHS and NIH. DO more. Engage communities, test and cure people.
We don’t have a staff of 20 or a surveillance team but we tested over a 1000 people last year, engaged our legislatures, implemented a testing program at several Rehabs and Free Clinics around town, we passed out thousands of pieces of literature, had people sign up for Organ Donation, dispelled the stigma, reached over 200,000 people through social media, gave presentations to our County Health Departments, counseled Veterans about hepatitis C, connected the homeless to care, and shared current info on the new DAAs with providers.
We didn’t spend one moment on surveillance, other than what our state requires. We aren’t poring over graphs and charts. We’ve never printed an action plan, or held a conference on how to eradicate this virus. Are you getting my point? Let’s get this show on the road. Its time to test, treat and cure.
We don’t need ONE MORE shred of evidence that the need to address Hep-C is of the UTMOST importance. We don’t need data to prove we are in desperate need of money. Please stop wasting time and resources on proving the urgency of the Hep-C Crisis. If the fact that Hep-C is deadlier than ALL OTHER 59 INFECTIOUS DISEASES COMBINED doesn’t move you, nothing will....my stomach turned as I wrote that last sentence because I am afraid NOTHING is going to move people to address this MOST IMPORTANT health issue.
We have seen people cured, and we are just a couple of inexperienced Patient Advocates, so why is it that OUR ENTIRE Government cant