Hepatitis C

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ACR Health has expanded its needle exchange program in Utica.  

In the Syracuse area, the organization’s three-year-old needle exchange program has reached almost 1,000 injection drug users. ACR health prevention director Erin Bortel says one of the reason it’s so successful is that it goes to where the injection users are.

"We’re able to infiltrate the community in a little bit more practical way, than expecting people who continually experience stigma and discrimination from having to come to us. So our mobility is our huge asset in our ability to reach individuals.”

A number of new state laws take effect in New York Jan. 1.  They include a few tax cuts and tax breaks, and even a new regulation that could impact the health of baby boomers.

Hitting the books in the new year are the first of three new tax cuts for small businesses and an additional nearly 10 percent tax cut for manufacturers.  Middle-income families are also getting tax relief in 2014. That affects people who make between $40,000 and $300,000 a year and who have at least one dependent child.

Hepatitis C -- the "silent epidemic"

Nov 3, 2013
Microbe World / Flickr

The “baby boomer” generation – Americans born between 1945 and 1965, has had a big impact on American society and culture. Now a disease is having a big effect on them. Baby boomers are five times more likely to have contracted Hepatitis C than the rest of the population. With symptoms that may not appear for decades, most may not even know they have Hepatitis C until it is too late.

This week on Take Care, Dr. Bryce D. Smith explains why all baby boomers should be tested for Hepatitis C. Dr. Smith is a lead health scientist in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Viral Hepatitis, and is the primary author of recent Hepatitis C testing recommendations that are aimed at members of the baby boomer generation.

Click 'Read More' to hear our interview with Dr. Smith.

Health providers in New York state are now required to offer a Hepatitis C test to all baby boomers. That's because about three-quarters of people who have the virus don't know they have it -- and most are in the baby boomer generation. Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen, hosts of WRVO's health and wellness show “Take Care” recently spoke with Dr. Bryce Smith of the Centers for Disease Control about this silent epidemic.

Lorraine Rapp: So I know there are different forms of the virus Hepatitis. This is Hepatitis C —what exactly is it and why is it so dangerous?