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HCV Screening/Baby Boomers, a misleading characterization
  From Jules Levin: The anemic federal response to HCV is what the federal govt does, they don't respond to major issues =unless they are forced to, they don't respond unless it is politically necessary. They were forced to respond to HIV, not to HCV. The focus on baby boomers screening for HCV is misleading if you have come to think that screening baby boomers is the only or even the major focus. In NYC screening we are finding those testing HCV+ now using rapid HCV testing 40% are baby boomers BUT 53% ARE NOT. 53% are younger, born after 1965. The notion to screen for baby boomers is the latest in federal government tactics that are really focused on finding a way to save money in screening. Because its less expensive to focus on & recommend screening baby boomers and because the federal government refuses to spend the necessary money on screening everyone for HCV they developed a plan to provide what appears to be a good way to screen for HCV. Its all they can offer & support, but it mislead s the public. it makes it seem that they are doing something, but this baby boomer notion is misleading & a result of the fact that they only have a little amount to spend on HCV & are willing to spend only a little on HCV. Could you imagine if the federal government issued a study and a proclamation that in HIV most of those HIV+ fall within a certain age category. In fact in HIV the majority of those HIV do fall within a smaller age grouping. In reality we should test everyone in the USA for HCV. its a simple & easy matter to design a way that everyone gets screened for HCV. I have a solution to this. But if the federal government did that they would find at least 5 million people with HCV, I actually estimate we might have 8 million with HCV in the USA. And 80% of these people are & remain UNDIAGNOSED. If we identified all these individuals the federal government would have to explain why they don't have programs of care for all these individuals, and why they don't have any adequate funding programs dedicated to screening & care & awareness. these programs could cost $50 million & more to begin with going up to $300 mllion, I estimate. We can barely get $3-4 mill from the federal government. The federal government has not greatly been challenged on any of this, not like HIV activists did in the early 80s. There is a complete lack of loud in-your-face activism that is required to force the government to provide a serious response to the HCV problem, not this anemic baby boomer response. Calling them baby-boomers is a mis-characterization. Should we discuss the baby boomers having been infected YES, but only within the larger context that like we find in NYC 53% are NOT baby boomers. Can you imgine response back in the 198s to HIV by saying we should test baby boomers!. In NYC we are focused on screening IDUs in communities of color (African-Americans, Latinos) who are very disproportionately affected by HCV. The federal govt was forced to respond to HIV by loud in your-face activists in the 1980s, otherwise we may never have had the billions dedicated to the multitude of HIV programs, the $1 billion annual Ryan White Care Act.  
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