The Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County (DOH-Pinellas) is offering no-cost hepatitis testing 8 a.m.-12 p.m. on Thursday, July 28 in recognition of World Hepatitis Day. Screening, educational materials, counseling and rapid testing for hepatitis C are available at two locations:
- Clearwater: 310 N. Myrtle Ave.
- St. Petersburg: 205 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St., N.
Baby boomers (people born between 1945 and 1965) have a higher risk for hepatitis C and millions every year develop liver cancer as a result. An estimated 95 percent of people with hepatitis are unaware of their infection. Everyone is encouraged to get tested at least once.
“Since people with hepatitis C can live for decades without symptoms, many baby boomers are unknowingly living with an infection,” said Dr. Ulyee Choe, DOH-Pinellas’ director. “Getting tested can help people learn if they are infected and get them into lifesaving treatment.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates there are between four and five million Americans and more than 300,000 Floridians infected with chronic hepatitis C.