Researchers from the University of Virginia conducted a statewide assessment of knowledge of Hepatitis C risk factors, and their findings have recently been published in the Journal of Community Health. Their findings show a critical knowledge gap in the general population, as only 38% of all respondents correctly identified HCV to be curable. Knowledge of risk factors in high-incidence regions was significantly lower than in low-incidence regions. The implications of this research are far-reaching in southwest Virginia, as many counties in the region have rates of HCV many times the state average. In 2018, the LENOWISCO health district had an acute HCV rate of 3.4 per 100,000, compared to the Virginia average of 0.8 per 100,000. The Cumberland Plateau health district fared even worse, with an acute HCV rate of 4.7 per 100,000. It is necessary to develop new public health interventions in order to address these gaps in high-incidence regions, such as the southwest region of the Commonwealth.
To view the abstract for the published paper, click HERE.