Health Department offers free Hepatitis C testing
AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin in conjunction with Lincoln County Health Department and Family Planning Health Services is offering a free rapid Hepatitis C test to Lincoln County residents. The event will be held from 12-6 p.m. on April 15 at the Lincoln County Health Department, 607 N. Sales St., Suite 101, Merrill, and from 12-6 p.m. on April 17 at the Tomahawk Family Planning Clinic, 318 N. 7th St. No appointments are necessary for this free testing. Testing is available while supplies last. HIV testing will be available for those who are interested.
Hepatitis C is a serious public health issue. People of all ages can get Hepatitis C and most people have no symptoms. Still, hepatitis-C is a serious illness; over time, it can cause health problems like cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) and liver cancer. Because it stays in the body, people with hepatitis-C can transmit it to others.
“As individuals and communities we all have a role to play in educating and empowering people of Lincoln County to get tested, know their status and help spread the word to others,” said Katie Baumann, Lincoln County Health Department Public Health Nurse.
The hepatitis-C virus is present in the blood of someone who is infected. It is spread when blood from an infected person gets into the bloodstream of an uninfected person. The following factors put you at a higher risk of getting Hepatitis C: Shared drug injection equipment: needles, cookers, cotton, or water; ever used a needle to inject drugs, even one time many years ago; shared straws (for snorting) razors, and/or pipes; received a tattoo with non-sterile needles or ink; received a piercing with non-sterile equipment; had unprotected sex, especially with a current or former injection drug user; your mother had Hepatitis C when she gave birth to you; had a blood transfusion or organ transplant before 1992.
For more information about this event, contact: Katie Baumann, Lincoln County Health Department at 715-539-1366; email@example.com; or Amanda Nelson, Aids Resource Center of Wisconsin at 715-355-6867. For more information about Hepatitis C, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/C/index.htm.