MSDH recognizes Hepatitis Awareness Month

May is Hepatitis Awareness Month, and the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) recommends that anyone born from 1945 to 1965 be tested for Hepatitis C, as well as those with a history of injection drug use or anyone who is HIV positive.

Mississippians born between 1945 and 1965 are five times more likely to be diagnosed with Hepatitis C, a disease that is the leading cause of liver cancer and which can cause serious health problems, including liver damage and cirrhosis.

More than 75 percent of adults with Hepatitis C are baby boomers, and three out of four people diagnosed with the disease never knew they were infected.

People in this age range are believed to have become infected in the 1970s and 1980s when rates of Hepatitis C were high and the blood supply for transfusions was not screened for this disease.