Today is the sixth annual World Hepatitis Day and free testing, screening for hepatitis B and C and vaccinations for hepatitis B are being offered throughout the city to staunch an epidemic that kills 4,000 people a day worldwide.
About 30% of Georgian residents are believed to have the hepatitis B or C virus, but many don’t know they’re infected because the disease usually progresses slowly until it erupts in liver cancer or another serious hepatic ailment.
This year Georgia is joining World Hepatitis Day by persuade its citizens to immediately get tested for Hepatitis C.
Each year on July 28 countries around the world mark World Hepatitis Day to raise awareness about the disease; hepatitis causes inflammation of the liver and can affect any individual regardless of age, including children.
The theme of this year’s World Hepatitis Day is “Prevent Hepatitis. Act now”.
Free Hepatitis C tests are available to anyone in Georgia’s regions from July 27 until August 10.
This initiative was part of Georgia’s unique Hepatitis C treatment program, which is free for all Georgians. The program aimed to fully eliminate Hepatitis C in the country over a five-year period. If successful, Georgia will become the first country to eliminate the virus.
The first evaluation of the program earlier this month saw most of the people involved in the treatment program be cured of the life-threatening virus after one month of treatment.