PATF will be closing at 5 pm on Wednesday, April 26th for our Annual Benefit.

Pittsburgh, PA – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported yesterday an all-time high in Hepatitis C-related deaths in the United States, with the virus now responsible for killing more Americans that any other infectious disease. According to the CDC, reported cases of acute Hepatitis C in Pennsylvania increased by 100 percent between 2009 and 2013, the most recent years that data is available. East Liberty-based Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force now offers free rapid Hepatitis C testing along with its established HIV testing program and testing for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea.

New CDC data points to a new wave of Hepatitis C inflections among people who inject drugs, most of whom are young, white individuals living in rural and suburban areas of the Midwest and Eastern United States. Especially in the rural areas surrounding Pittsburgh, injection drug use has surged, putting many at risk for Hepatitis C infection. Since most people do not have any symptoms or very mild symptoms until many years later when the infection has already caused serious liver damage, testing is critically important. At least half of all those infected don’t know their status and have not been tested.

Those born between 1945 and 1965 have the highest rates of Hepatitis C, accounting for 75 percent of all infections, and many have been unknowingly living with the virus for years. Many baby boomers were infected via medical procedures in the years following World War II, when injection and blood transfusions technologies were not as safe as they are today. As part of routine healthcare, PATF recommends anyone that received blood or organs before 1992 receive a Hepatitis C test.

“We’ve seen a rise in Hepatitis C cases among injection drug users locally, but they are not the only ones at risk for infection,” says PATF Director of Programs and Communications Jason Herring. “Baby boomers, especially veterans, are at high risk as well as those that may share injection equipment for hormones or medications, especially in the surrounding rural regions hit hardest by the heroin use epidemic.”

Free Hepatitis C testing is available at the PATF offices in East Liberty at 5913 Penn Avenue six days a week, as well as all of its off-site testing locations. Test results are available in 20 minutes. Visit www.patf.org for a full schedule of testing locations, days, and hours.

As the oldest and largest AIDS service organization in Southwestern Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force (PATF) is dedicated to supporting and empowering all individuals living with HIV/AIDS, and to be relentless in preventing the spread of infection. PATF is a leader in providing comprehensive support services that improve the health and quality of life for those living with HIV/AIDS in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Somerset, Washington, and Westmoreland counties. For information, please contact PATF at 412-345-0592, aptaschinski@patf.org or visit www.patf.org.

Newsletter:

Sign up for PATF E-Perspectives & receive email updates on all the latest news!

 

upcoming events:

S M T W T F S
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Hours:

Testing Hours:
Sun: Noon – 3:30 p.m.
Mon-Tue, Thu - Fri: 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Wed: 9 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

 

Food Pantry Hours*:
Sun: Noon-4:00 p.m.
Mon, Tues, Thu: Noon-4:00 p.m.
Wed: 3:00-7:00 p.m.

 

The food pantry is closed on Friday and Saturdays.

 

*Clients may use the food pantry once per month; Clients who are overdue for their 90-day updates will not be able to use the Food Pantry on Wednesday after 4 p.m., or on Sundays

Sponsors