JEVS Partners with Philadelphia Fight to Provide Life-Saving Screenings
Pictured above are Ricardo Rivera (left) and Nabori Brown (right) from Philadelphia Fight.
JEVS Achievement through Counseling and Treatment (ACT) program has teamed up with Philadelphia Fight to provide hepatitis C (HCV) and HIV screenings to patients on-site at both of our drug treatment clinic locations.
Philadelphia Fight is a comprehensive health services organization providing primary care, consumer education, research and advocacy for people living with HIV/AIDS and those at high-risk. The HCV/HIV screenings are provided through a program within Philadelphia Fight called "C a Difference," which goes out to community programs to provide education and testing around hepatitis C, a virus that spreads through contaminated blood and causes liver inflammation, sometimes leading to serious liver damage.
If a patient has a positive screening test for HCV, confirmatory testing is performed and an appointment is scheduled for them with a doctor at Philadelphia Fight Community Health Centers. All services are free up until the client is connected to treatment.
"We have new medications to treat hepatitis C that are successful for producing very high cure rates," said Dr. Trusandra Taylor, medical director at JEVS-ACT. "In the past, successful treatment defined as a “sustained virologic response” produced cure rates of 30 to 40 percent in many cases.
Ricardo Rivera, a phlebotomist HC and HIV tester for Philadelphia Fight, explained that there are 9 current treatments for hepatitis C that cure the virus.
“Access to these new medications for hepatitis C will really improve our patients’ long-term survival," said Dr. Taylor.
Several JEVS-ACT patients have been successfully treated. Last month, 6 patients received counseling and referral to Philadelphia Fight.
"I think it's a good thing," said Susana, an ACT patient. "Especially for people that have kids; it's my family that I worry about."
Currently, screenings are held once a month. If you or someone you know would benefit from these services, call ACT at 215-609-6040.