On February 7, 2017, roughly 200 state and national leaders convened in Albany for the state’s and nation’s first “Hepatitis C Elimination Summit,” where public health experts, advocates, and community stakeholders came together to learn from each other and formulate a framework for eliminating hepatitis C in New York State. The event was livestreamed (and is now available for viewing here – a quick registration is required) and discussed on Facebook (#HepCSummit) and Twitter (#HepCSummit).
Over 200,000 New Yorkers are now living with hepatitis C virus (HCV), and while a cure is available, significant barriers to treatment still exist. Nationally, hepatitis C now kills more people than HIV. New York must do more to provide access to medical treatment and preventative healthcare, including expansion of harm reduction services and policies that will reduce new infections.
The summit was the culmination of six months of collaborative work by roughly 100 experts and stakeholders to develop recommendations for tackling New York’s hepatitis C epidemic. While the event focused on ending HCV in New York, the summit presented a framework that local public health agencies across the nation can use to address HCV in their own states and jurisdictions.