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Home News Prevent the spread of Hepatitis C by getting tested to know your status
David Barre
(505) 699-9237 Office

Prevent the spread of Hepatitis C by getting tested to know your status

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Health (NM Health) recognizes May as Hepatitis C Awareness Month and May 19 as Hepatitis Testing Day and encourages all adults in New Mexico to get tested and know their status. 

Hepatitis C (HCV) is a viral infection that is spread via direct contact with infected blood. The virus can be transmitted through sharing unsterile syringes, unsterile tattoo or piercing equipment, blood transfusions before 1992 and, less commonly, through sexual intercourse. Unlike Hepatitis A and B, there is no immunization to prevent Hepatitis C. 

However, Hepatitis C is curable. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 90 percent of people infected with HCV can be cured with 8-12 weeks of oral therapy.  The current treatments have few side effects and require fewer overall doctor’s appointments.  

The CDC recommends that primary care providers test all patients 18 years and older at least once in their lifetime for Hepatitis C and all pregnant patients for hepatitis C during each pregnancy. Routine periodic testing is also recommended for people with ongoing risk factors.   

“Hepatitis C can be cured with medications that are easy to take and really effective.  Getting tested is the first step,” said Dr. Miranda Durham, NMHealth’s Chief Medical Officer. “No cost testing is available at public health offices around New Mexico.” 

To find a testing location near you, visit:

Chronic HCV infection does not cause symptoms in most people but can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer.  Without treatment, HCV infection can lead to severe liver disease, liver cancer, and even death. Symptoms of Hepatitis C may include fatigue, yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice), brain fog, stomach pain and joint pain.  

New Mexico released the Hepatitis C Virus elimination plan in 2022, with the goal of eliminating the virus in the state by 2030. The plan was made as part of a collaborative effort between state agencies, UNM Project Echo, healthcare providers and community organizations. It is estimated that there are 25,800 people in New Mexico with Hepatitis C who need treatment. 

Since then, various measures have been taken to expand testing and treatment, especially amongst traditionally hard to reach populations, such as people experiencing homelessness, incarceration and those without insurance.  

One of those initiatives, Project HEAT (Hepatitis Elimination Access to Treatment), offers temporary, no cost comprehensive health coverage to New Mexico residents with no other access to insurance. At harm reduction sites across New Mexico, participants can receive sterile syringes and other safer use supplies to prevent new transmissions from spreading. In addition, testing and linkage to treatment services has also been expanded to better reach high risk groups. 

For more information about Hepatitis C visit NMHealth’s Hepatitis Prevention website. If you need help finding a testing location or have questions about Hepatitis C, you can call the NMHealth Helpline at 1-833-SWNURSE (1-833-796-8773). 

Media Contact

We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact David Barre at (505) 699-9237 (Office) with your questions.

Versión en Español

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Prevenir la propagación de la hepatitis C al obtener la prueba para saber su estado