P.E.I.'s AIDS community support organization is inviting Islanders to get tested for hepatitis C.
July 28 is World Hepatitis Day, and AIDS PEI is hoping to raise awareness about the disease by hosting a free pop-up clinic in Charlottetown where people can get tested in just a matter of minutes.
"Hepatitis C is the most common chronic blood-borne virus in North America, and the primary reason for liver transplants in Canada," said Angele DesRoches, the program co-ordinator for AIDS PEI.
"The overarching goals associated with the campaign are to promote testing, prevention, treatment and linkage to care for Canadians affected by hepatitis," she said.
Doctors on hand for counselling
DesRoches said it will take about 20 minutes for patients to receive their test results at the pop-up clinic, and a team of doctors will be on hand to counsel people should they receive a positive diagnosis.
According to DesRoches, an estimated 250,000 Canadians and more than 500 Islanders live with hepatitis C.
Baby boomers encouraged to attend
DesRoches added that while the pop-up clinic is open to everyone, the Canadian Liver Foundation does recommend that baby boomers get screened for the disease because of changes to sanitation practices in medical and dental settings.
The pop-up clinic is being held Friday, July 28 from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. outside the Boardwalk Professional Centre in Charlottetown. People must present government issued photo ID at the time of their testing.
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