We are a group of hepatitis C and harm reduction experts from organizations in Thunder Bay, Canada here to answer your questions! Ask us anything!
Hi Reddit! We are HepNet, a coalition of agencies and organizations from Thunder Bay, Canada.
July 28th is recognized annually as World Hepatitis Day, an international event with the goals of raising awareness about viral hepatitis and influencing action. We are holding the AMA today to commemorate the event this year. The goals of this AMA are to raise awareness, reduce stigma, encourage testing, and provide education on hepatitis C and associated risks, as well as to provide education on harm reduction.
There are currently 300 million people living with viral hepatitis who are unaware of their status. In Thunder Bay, approximately 1 in 50 people are living with Hepatitis C, and many are undiagnosed. These local rates are much higher than the provincial average. As Hep C often has mild or no symptoms at all, the only way to know for sure is to get tested. Understanding risk and practicing harm reduction have been proven to reduce the risk of transmission.
We are holding this AMA as a fun and exciting way to engage with the public and answer any questions you might have.
Who we are:
Cynthia Olsen - Coordinator, Thunder Bay Drug Strategy
Rick Thompson - Superior Points Harm Reduction Program
Aaron Leiterman - Elevate NWO
Nickie Saczawa - Ontario Addiction Treatment Centres
Amanda Haniak - Registered Practical Nurse, Liver Care Northwest
Edit: Thanks for all of the questions! We will be taking a break for now but we will get back to answering questions on Monday.