“We try to provide information to the community and the populace, raise awareness of the different types of viral hepatitis that exist, methods of prevention, care and diagnosis, and provide rapid diagnostic tests for the community; for example rapid tests for hepatitis C. There is also HIV and syphilis (other sexually transmitted diseases),” says Mercedes Vernengo.
Regarding the importance of understanding hepatitis, hepatologist José Vilar explains, “People can spot it very quickly because the patient’s color turns yellow, that is, they have symptoms. The chronic form, which is what is being looked for today because Beginning in 1992, all known forms of viral hepatitis can be clearly identified with the letters A, B, C, D, E and F”.
“There were tests to make a diagnosis. For example, when the vaccine came out and became mandatory, cases of hepatitis A almost disappeared. Today, children with hepatitis A are rarely found. But, for example, , because of hepatitis C, we don’t have a preventable vaccine, and patients do appear to be sick, but already chronic. The Ministry of Health is highlighting these cases so they can be detected.”
The hepatologist highlighted the healthy mix of developing such awareness, emphasizing that “we see support in the Ministry of Health today for diagnosis through these rapid tests, and it is my personal desire to establish them as the Mandatory,” he concluded.