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Press Release - 5/15/2018

Maryland Department of Health Promotes Hepatitis Awareness Month Through Education and Screening



Maryland Department of Health Promotes Hepatitis Awareness Month Through Education and Screening
Saturday, May 19 is Hepatitis Testing Day in the State of Maryland  


Baltimore, MD (May 15, 2018)—The month of May is designated Hepatitis Awareness Month in the United States and Saturday, May 19 is Hepatitis Testing Day. Throughout the month, the Maryland Department of Health and its partners will help raise awareness about the importance of viral hepatitis education, screening, and treatment. Further, throughout the month, we’ve arranged for free Hepatitis C virus (HCV) testing across the state.


HCV is a highly contagious, but curable infection that attacks the liver. HCV is transmitted through contact with even microscopic amounts of infected blood and/or bodily fluids. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2.7-3.9 million individuals are living with HCV infection in the United States. Many people living with HCV have no signs or symptoms of their infection with the virus. However, complications of chronic HCV infection are serious and include liver damage, liver failure, cancer, and death. 


If you meet any of the below criteria, the CDC recommends you get tested:


  • “Baby boomers”—adults born from 1945 through 1965
  • Anyone born to a mother with HCV
  • Anyone who has received blood products with clotting factor before 1987
  • Anyone who has received blood transfusion or organ transplant before July 1992
  • Anyone who has been on long-term hemodialysis
  • Anyone with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Any health or public safety workers who have been stuck with a needle or other sharp object with blood from a person with HCV or unknown HCV
  • Anyone who has injected drugs, even if only one time


“Hepatitis C is often hidden and without symptoms. If you meet any of the CDC recommended HCV testing criteria, getting tested could save your life,” said Dr. Howard Haft, deputy secretary of Public Health Services at the Maryland Department of Health. “And in good news, advancements in antiviral treatments have been developed that cure HCV infection in eight to 10 weeks with minimal side effects.”


The Maryland Department of Health and its partners encourage everyone to know their HCV status. Below, please find a list of partners offering free HCV testing throughout the state during the month of May.


Baltimore County Department of Health

Be your best. Take the Hep C test!

Contact: Kristin Arbaugh—Karbaugh@baltimorecountymd.gov or 410-887-2104


Saturday, May 19, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Woodlawn Health Center

1811 Woodlawn Drive, Woodlawn, MD 21207


Saturday, May 19, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Dundalk Health Center

7700 Dunmanway, Dundalk, MD 21222


Saturday, May 19, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Drumcastle Building

6401 York Road, Drumcastle, MD 21212


Carroll County Health Department

C” Your Status: Know your ABC’s and take control of your health

Contact: Richard Ash—Richard.ash@maryland.gov or 410-876-4770


Friday, May 18, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Carroll County Health Department

290 South Center Street Westminster, MD 21157


Saturday, May 26, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Westminster Rescue Mission

658 Lucabaugh Mill Road, Westminster, MD 21157


Open to the public

Note: Health education and information will be provided on risk reduction and available resources at the local health department. Onsite testing will not be provided. 


Harford County Health Department

Contact: Cindy Dawson—Cindy.dawson@maryland.gov or 410-879-0205 x3025


Friday, May 18, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Harford County Health Department

1 North Main Street, Bel Air, MD 21014


University of Maryland

Contact: Alexandra Reitz—Areitz@ihv.umaryland.gov or 443-632-6179


Thursday, May 17, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Van at Walgreens

9801 Liberty Heights, Baltimore, MD 21215


Washington County Health Department

Contact: Diana Gaviria—Diana.gaviria@maryland.gov or 240-313-3260 or David Washington—DavidWashinton@maryland.gov


Saturday, May 19, 12 to 4 p.m.

2018 Neighborhood Day of Hope

Wheaton Park, Hagerstown, MD




Marylanders who need help finding substance related disorder treatment resources should visit MdDestinationRecovery.orgBeforeItsTooLateMD.org or call the Maryland Crisis Hotline, which provides 24/7 support, at 1-800-422-0009. If you know of someone who could use treatment for substance related disorders treatment facilities can be located by location and program characteristics on our page at https://goo.gl/aRRExJ.   


The Maryland Department of Health is the State agency that protects Maryland’s public health. We work together to promote and improve the health and safety of all Marylanders through disease prevention, access to care, quality management, and community engagement. Stay connected: http://www.twitter.com/MDHealthDept and http://www.facebook.com/MarylandDHMH. ?