Pictured above are Ricardo Rivera (left) and Nabori Brown (right) from Philadelphia Fight.
JEVS Achievement through Counseling and Treatment (ACT) program has teamed up with Philadelphia Fight to provide hepatitis C (HCV) and HIV screenings to patients on-site at both of our drug treatment clinic locations.
Philadelphia Fight is a comprehensive health services organization providing primary care, consumer education, research and advocacy for people living with HIV/AIDS and those at high-risk. The HCV/HIV screenings are provided through a program within Philadelphia Fight called “C a Difference,” which goes out to community programs to provide education and testing around hepatitis C, a virus that spreads through contaminated blood and causes liver inflammation, sometimes leading to serious liver damage.
If a patient has a positive screening test for HCV, confirmatory testing is performed and an appointment is scheduled for them with a doctor at Philadelphia Fight Community Health Centers. All services are free up until the client is connected to treatment.
“We have new medications to treat hepatitis C that are successful for producing very high cure rates,” said Dr. Trusandra Taylor, medical director at JEVS-ACT. “In the past, successful treatment defined as a “sustained virologic response” produced cure rates of 30 to 40 percent in many cases.
Ricardo Rivera, a phlebotomist HC and HIV tester for Philadelphia Fight, explained that there are 9 current treatments for hepatitis C that cure the virus.
“Access to these new medications for hepatitis C will really improve our patients’ long-term survival,” said Dr. Taylor.
Several JEVS-ACT patients have been successfully treated. Last month, 6 patients received counseling and referral to Philadelphia Fight.
“I think it’s a good thing,” said Susana, an ACT patient. “Especially for people that have kids; it’s my family that I worry about.”
Currently, screenings are held once a month. If you or someone you know would benefit from these services, call ACT at 215-609-6040.