Hepatitis C

Photo by: Seth Tackett, WTIU/WFIU News

Five years ago, Indiana experienced one of the nation’s worst HIV outbreaks. Mike Pence was governor then, and he approved a needle exchange to keep the problem from spreading. Now state leaders are debating whether that exchange — and others — can stay open.

Photo by Blogtrepreneur is licensed under CC 2.0 https://www.flickr.com/photos/143601516@N03/27905720280

Indiana Medicaid recipients are getting better access to drugs for treating hepatitis C,  a change triggered by a class-action lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Emily Forman/Side Effects Public Media

Nearly 100,000 people are waiting for a kidney transplant in the U.S., but many will never get one. Instead they’ll stay on dialysis for the rest of their lives. A team of doctors in Philadelphia have found a possible solution to this problem, by infecting patients with a potentially fatal virus.

Emily Forman/Side Effects Public Media

Nearly 100,000 people are waiting for a kidney transplant in the U.S. Many will never get one but some doctors have found an innovative solution.

State Prisons Fail To Offer Cure To 144,000 Inmates With Deadly Hepatitis C

Jul 9, 2018
Creative Commons/Pixabay

State prisons across the U.S. are failing to treat at least 144,000 inmates who have hepatitis C, a curable but potentially fatal liver disease, according to a recent survey and subsequent interviews of state corrections departments.

Many of the 49 states that responded to questions about inmates with hepatitis C cited high drug prices as the reason for denying treatment. The drugs can cost up to $90,000 for a course of treatment.

Jake Harper / Side Effects Public Media

Hepatitis C cases in Marion County are up so much, the public health department in Indianapolis declared an epidemic. A syringe exchange program is part of the county’s answer. 

In a corner of Jymie Jimerson's house in the town of Sparta, in southwest Missouri, she has set up a kind of shrine. It has Native American art representing her Cherokee heritage alongside Willie Nelson albums, books and photos in remembrance of her late husband.

There's a copy of Willie's mid-'70s LP Red Headed Stranger. "When Steve was young, he had red hair and a red beard, so he always really identified with Willie's Red Headed Stranger," Jimerson says. "I try to keep it up there as a reminder of better days."

Seth Herald / for Side Effects Public Media

On a recent morning in downtown Tippecanoe County Indiana, a standing-room-only crowd showed up for a county commissioners meeting. The issue at hand? Renewing the county’s syringe exchange program.


Jake Harper / Side Effects

Indiana’s top law enforcement officer, Attorney General Curtis Hill, has accused the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of manipulating facts in order to push a “pro-needle-exchange agenda.” He made the accusation in a statement released Tuesday.

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ranks Indiana among the states with the highest rates of hepatitis C infection, a virus that destroys the liver and leads to liver cancer. Indiana's rate is double the national average with 2 per 100,000 people affected. These people recently tested for and were diagnosed with hepatitis C.

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