Today (April 17, 2015) in Victoria, BC, Official Opposition Health Critic MP @Murray Rankin showed his support for Baby Boomer testing of hepatitis C by “rolling up his sleeve” for the simple blood test. HepCBC was there to record this special occasion. We applaud this kind of “hands-on” action which shows leadership on the important health issue of un-diagnosed hepatitis C. (See VIDEO below…)
Just before he took the test, Mr. Rankin said, “I think it’s important that hepatitis C testing be done without any stigma…I’m here to say as a Member of Parliament it is something that everybody should do. It is something that is a wonderful health initiative and I’m pleased to be doing it as well.”
It’s a great idea to find out your hepatitis C status now that the disease is CURABLE in almost all patients, and with few if any side-effects. 75% of the people with hepatitis C in North America are Baby Boomers. They could have gotten it 30 or 40 years back and still not know it – from a forgotten blood transfusion, an unsanitary tattoo, or just one shared needle or cocaine straw – since hepatitis C destroys ones’ liver “silently”. If Hep C is found and treated early enough, terrible complications such as liver cancer, cirrhosis, liver failure, and transplant can be avoided.
Consequently, one-time-only testing of all Baby Boomers is now recommended by the US Center for Disease Control, the Canadian Liver Foundation, the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver, HepCBC, and now by Mr. Rankin. We urge you to ask your mayor, City Council member, MLA, or MP, “Have you been tested for hepatitis C? It’s the responsible thing to do!” And if you haven’t yet, ask your doctor to write you a referral for hepatitis C testing #HepCTest at your 2015 Annual Checkup! Once you’ve done it – as long as you are not involved in any high-risk activities – you won’t have to get tested again.