HOW CHRONIC HEPATITIS C IS IMPACTING OUR VETERANS

Chronic hepatitis C is a serious liver disease caused by infection with the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The “baby boomer” generation – people born from 1945 to 1965 – is disproportionally impacted by HCV infection. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates baby boomers are five times more likely to be infected than other adults. Similarly, veterans are three times as likely to be infected with chronic HCV versus the general population. Veterans, especially those who served in the Vietnam War, may be at an increased risk of having chronic HCV due, in part, to blood exposure in combat.

VETERANS NEED MORE SCREENING, DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT

Addressing the needs of veterans with chronic HCV is a challenge as a number of veterans with the virus remain undiagnosed. All veterans born between 1945 - 1965 should be screened for chronic HCV.

The Veterans Health Administration (VA) announced in March 2016 that it would begin treating all veterans with chronic HCV in the VA health care system regardless of the stage of the patient's liver disease.

FOR VETERANS:

Veterans should consult with a health care professional to learn more about their personal risk factors, screening and treatment for chronic HCV.

For additional information, please visit:

VETERANS HEALTH ADMINISTRATION
or
CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION