NYC agencies plan Hepatitis C prevention initiative

NEW YORK: The Fund for Public Health in New York and the New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene are planning a multilingual awareness campaign to promote Hepatitis C virus prevention.

NEW YORK: The Fund for Public Health in New York and the New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene are planning a multilingual awareness campaign to promote Hepatitis C virus prevention.

The organizations expect to award the $1.3 million, one-year contact, which includes communications and testing elements, to multiple agencies.

The campaign portion of the “Check Hep C” initiative will require the winning firm to promote HCV awareness and educate consumers about HCV prevention in neighborhoods with high prevalence of the virus. The deadline to apply is March 19, and the agencies expect to award the contract by March 27.  

Target areas in New York City include West Queens, Crotona-Tremont in the Bronx, Bedford Stuyvesant-Crown Heights in Brooklyn, and East Harlem in Manhattan. A goal of the program is to provide HCV testing for 5,000 patients in 20 locations, as well as at four community health centers for those who are diagnosed with HCV.

The state of New York estimates that 200,000 to 300,000 of its residents have the virus, and most don't know it.

Nationally and in New York City, illness and deaths from Hepatitis C are rising, largely from infections 20 years ago, the NYC Health Department said.

“Check Hep C is one of the first projects in the country taking steps to address this increase,” a New York City Health press representative told PRWeek. “The Health Department has been working with the city, state, and federal government, as well as community, partners, and industry to mobilize resources and commitment to address issues related to Hepatitis C.”

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