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20,000 free hepatitis C tests

Fundatia Renasterea will buy 20,000 hepatitis C tests that can be used free of charge, as part of the ‘Stop Hepatitis’ campaign, Fundatia Renasterea President Mihaela Geoana stated on Wednesday at a debate organised on this topic by the U.S. Embassy. “The communication will be made online, on the website of Ms. Oana Cuzino (www.doc.ro – editor’s note), who is the ambassador of the campaign. The registration for hepatitis C tests is still open. The tests are carried out at Fundatia Renasterea, but those willing have to create a voucher and there are a few questions the patients have to answer before taking the test. The second stage of the campaign will start in a few days’ time. There will be several centres where the testing will take place. The tests are free. (…) They are saliva-based tests,” Mihaela Geoana said.

U.S. Ambassador Hans Klemm took a demonstrative test (photo).

“Romania unfortunately has one of the highest hepatitis C virus (HCV) prevalence rates in Europe, some 3.23 percent of Romanians are unfortunately victims to this disease.  Although this is only an estimate because of the lack of testing, but nevertheless we estimate between 500,000 and 600,000 Romanians to be chronically ill from hepatitis C,” said Ambassador Hans Klemm.

“The Ministry of Health named hepatitis a national public health priority.  The Ministry also authorized new revolutionary interferon-free therapies and registered them on the Romanian market.

I am happy to hear now, after only one year, that almost 5,000 patients have entered into treatment with innovative hepatitis C therapy and the results are truly remarkable.

For example, the most recent data from just last month indicate that of the almost 1,877 patients who have completed the entire treatment, 100 percent tested negative for the virus.  The final tests three months after they have finished the treatment showed a 99.3 percent cure rate.  These data truly are extraordinary,” he added.

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