More Awareness of Hepatitis C in Prisons is Aim of New Law

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, October 12, 2005

California’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation estimates about one-third of inmates are infected with Hepatitis-C.  It’s a blood-borne virus that can lead to liver damage, sometimes years after the initial infection has taken place.  The Department’s produced a video on the subject for inmates. 

Department spokeswoman Terry Thornton says right now, those identified as higher risk are offered the opportunity for testing. The new law will expand that. 

 “ But instead of just through the process, learning oh well this person may need to know this, we’re just going to be doing it for everyone.” 

Thornton says Hepatitis C becomes a public health issue when inmates are paroled. The Centers for Disease Control describes Hepatitis C as an infection most commonly spread through intravenous drug use.