The Hyde County Health Department is now offering Hepatitis C treatment to anyone who has tested positive for Hepatitis C or would like to be tested.
Most major insurances are accepted, or patients can be seen on a sliding fee scale, which adjusts the cost of visits and lab work according to individuals’ household size and income, according to a press release.
The department, at 1151 Main St., Swan Quarter, will work with pharmacies for participants to receive Hepatitis C medications at little or no cost to qualifying patients.
The health department also offers free Hepatitis C testing for individuals who have a history of incarceration, people who are HIV positive, people and their sexual partners who currently use drugs not as prescribed, people with a history of drug use and individuals born between 1945 to 1965.
Those who do not qualify for free testing can still be tested for a small fee or through their insurance.
“The new medications used for treatment have fewer side effects and are more effective,” said Kelley Newman, family nurse practitioner in the department. “Treatment usually consists of daily medication for eight to 12 weeks. It is wonderful to be able to tell patients that they are cured of a previously incurable disease.”
Newman participated in the Carolina Hepatitis Academic Mentorship Program (CHAMP), sponsored by the UNC School of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center and the North Carolina Division of Public Health.
In this program, Newman worked with Triangle-based physicians to learn more about how to treat and monitor Hepatitis C patients. She will continue to consult with UNC and Duke-based physicians as she provides treatment.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the health department at 252-926-4399.
World Hepatitis Day is July 28.