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Hepatitis C can lead to severe liver damage and liver cancer if left untreated.
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While the incomes of Canada's wealthiest are increasing, the absolute wealth of our poorest is decreasing. As this gap grows, so too do the differences in people's health risks, care and outcome. The poorer people are in Ontario, the more likely they are to have shorter lifespans, to be overdue for screening tests and to suffer from multiple chronic health conditions.
This is about both health and human rights, said one researcher.
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"This changes the standard of care in treating patients with HCV."
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So, what can we do? We have seen tremendous success in other countries: setting clear goals and targets has been key to slowing the HIV epidemic and beginning to envision how we might end this ongoing public health crisis. The goals set by the global community are attainable -- science is on our side. What's needed is good policies and programs, taken to scale.
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I was married with two children and needed to have two surgeries due to back pain I had been experiencing for seven years. Pre-surgery blood tests revealed that I had the hepatitis C virus and had been living with it unknowingly for 23 years.
Once the worse affected province, B.C.'s HIV burden today is way below the Canadian average. In Canada, we can lead the way forward towards ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic, but a federal level commitment is sorely lacking.
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