The O.A.S.I.S. Clinic, which provides treatment for people with hepatitis, last week hosted hosting Oakland mayoral candidate forum, where candidates spoke about their vision for a safer Oakland and the importance of making clinics expensive treatment assessable to all patients.
At the forum chaired by State Senator Carole Migden, the candidates praised the work Dr. Diana Sylvestre , who founded O.A.S.I.S., Organized to Achieve Solutions in Substance Abuse, in1998, urging people to be tested for Hepatitis C.
Most of the candidates talked about the recent medical break-though that promises hope for those with Hepatitis (HCV) but is out of reach for many patients because of its high price.
HCV spreads more easily than HIV through contact with infected blood. In the U.S., about four times as many people have the disease than have HIV.
People can become infected with HCV and not know it. Between15 percent and 30 percent of those who contact HCV recover without treatment. The rest develop chronic infection, and the virus stays in their body unless it is successfully treated.
HCV might not cause a person visible problems for 15 to 20 years, or even longer. But ultimately, it can lead to cirrhosis of the liver.
People with cirrhosis are at risk for liver cancer, liver failure, and death.