Roll out free testing in 18 provinces

In the framework of World Viral Hepatitis Day, which is observed on Friday 28 July, a nationwide awareness and testing campaign will be carried out throughout the week. The Argentine Society of Hepatology (SAHE) has launched a hepatitis C testing campaign, which includes free testing at 68 testing sites in 18 provinces of the country until Friday 28 July, without prior appointment.

Buenos Aires, CABA, Catamarca, Chaco, Cordoba, Entre Ríos, La Pampa, La Rioja, Misiones, Neuquen, Rioja Onegro, Salta, San Juan, San Luis, Santa Fe, Santiago del Estero, Tierra del Fuego and Tucumán take part. You can view details of the locations, dates and times of free testing in each city by entering here.

A concern is the high rate of underdiagnosis in Argentina and around the world. It is estimated that 6 to 7 out of every 10 people infected with the virus in our country are unaware of the virus, reflecting the need for better testing mechanisms and continued community awareness to look after their health. The liver is just like taking care of the heart or any other organ. That’s what this campaign is about.

“Hepatitis C is a disease that most of the time causes no symptoms, which is why it is so important to get tested at least once in your life. A campaign like ours across the country is a fantastic opportunity to make this happen. If the test (quick and painless) is negative, the person can move on with life. On the other hand, if the test is positive and the diagnosis is subsequently confirmed, a medical professional will be with her so that she can be cured and avoid potentially serious future complication.”Comment Sebastian FerrettiPresident of the Argentine Society of Hepatology (SAHE).

The World Health Organization has set an ambitious goal of eradicating hepatitis C worldwide by 2030, and Argentina has overcome the difficulties it faces by taking several measures to achieve this goal. The development of the Continuous Community Testing Initiative is one of the initiatives that will help make this happen.

“Studies to detect hepatitis B and C are simple, but unfortunately, it is not part of the routine tests required during regular check-ups with family doctors. We hepatologists, gastroenterologists and infection specialists must also be in this Make a little effort, because we are the closest people to this disease every day. We must commit to educating other health professionals about the importance of asking for this research, such as clinicians, cardiologists, endocrinologists, gynecologists and geriatricians and other professionals.”Add to Esteban Gonzalez BalergaSAHE Vice President.

Manuel BarberSAHE board member points out that a person can have hepatitis C and only realize it decades later: “If you go with the flow, over time, unfortunately, when your liver damage reaches an advanced stage, you get a diagnosis and you develop some degree of risk of cirrhosis, liver cancer, and need to accept porting. By testing on time, this can all be avoided”.

anyone can get it

Because of prejudice or misinformation, many people believe they have not been exposed to the virus or are protected by the vaccine, but hepatitis C is not one of the types of hepatitis that is vaccine-preventable (i.e., hepatitis A and B) and through exposure Transmission by contaminated blood.

This virus has been circulating for many years, but it is not well known, and in addition, there is no awareness of disinfection measures for instruments that come into contact with blood. As a result, thousands of people are unknowingly infected during dental treatments, surgeries, tattoos, piercings and other cosmetic treatments, receiving blood transfusions, sharing syringes, toothbrushes, razors or joint inhalation of illicit substances and other sharp objects Hepatitis C. .

barber clarify today “Proper disinfection of all instruments used in every health or beauty intervention is more common, and people are more aware of the risks of coming into contact with other people’s blood, so there is less transmission than in the 80s and 90s. In this case, every Individuals, though mainly those over the age of 35 or 40, with more or less knowledge, may have been exposed to the virus, so testing is necessary to reassure doubts”.

“It’s worth going out and finding patients because today we have medicines that cure almost everyone within a few weeks, with few side effects, and are covered by society, prepaid and state works. So if they’re diagnosed before the disease progresses, it’s It can be cured in time and avoid life-threatening.”stand out Ferretti.

Another key aspect of this disease is that a significant proportion of patients who have been diagnosed for years or decades do not return to a medical professional for a cure because they do not know that there is a cure because they remember the serious side effects of the drug . Because you think you have to pay for your current treatment out of pocket, because you’re putting off your health due to other priorities, or simply because you don’t care because the disease hasn’t caused symptoms or pain for years.

In response to this situation, many hospitals in our country are carrying out “re-linkage” operations. “It’s a successful international strategy that includes reviewing medical records on file and calling in those hepatitis C patients who haven’t yet been seen so they can recover as quickly as possible,” he explained. Gonzalez Balega.

Another recommendation also includes finding patients in high-risk communities, not discriminating, but using statistics of higher incidence worldwide, in groups such as veterans, prison populations, people living with HIV, dialysis patients or patients receiving blood transfusions Find patients. And blood products, such as hemophiliacs, etc.

They concluded from SAHE: “Those who have been unable to provide answers for people living with hepatitis C for decades, today we do our best to find more patients because the cure is a reality, within reach and can truly change their lives”.

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