Groups launch trucking campaign against Hepatitis C
Bill Gordon CEO of the Healthy Trucking Association of America, announces the beginning of a campaign to educate truck drivers on the dangers of Hepatitis. (The Trucker: DOROTHY COX)
The Trucker Staff
DALLAS — The Healthy Trucking Association of America (HTAA), OraSure Technologies Inc. and AbbVie Friday announced they have joined forces to launch Truckers Rolling Against Hepatitis C, a nationwide initiative to educate truck drivers about the hepatitis C virus (HCV) and encourage testing among this population.
The campaign kicked off at the Great American Trucking Show under way here and will continue this fall with local HCV testing events across the country to test at-risk individuals and help prevent serious consequences from undiagnosed infection.
AbbVie is a global, research-based biopharmaceutical company. OraSure is a leader in the fight against HCV and a pioneer and market leader in the development of point of care testing products for infectious diseases.
The Truckers Rolling Against Hepatitis C campaign comprises several key initiatives designed to engage drivers to get tested within their healthcare settings, including truck stop events, employer testing initiatives and clinics that serve the trucking community beginning with screenings at the trucking show.
During GATS, truck drivers were invited to visit the Truckers Rolling Against Hepatitis C campaign booth, to receive healthcare education about HCV and get tested. Drivers will be offered testing with OraSure’s OraQuick HCV Rapid Test, the first and only rapid HCV test approved by the FDA that provides lab accurate results with a fingerstick blood sample in just 20 minutes.
“We are dedicated to helping our fellow drivers receive the most accurate information and care options to keep them healthy and providing for their families,” Bill Gordon, chief executive officer of The Healthy Trucking Association of America, said. “Together, working with AbbVie and OraSure, we are committed to helping educate drivers at tradeshows, terminals, truck-stops and wherever else they are to learn if they are at risk for this treatable disease.”
Gordon said about 5.2 million people in the U.S. have been exposed to or are infected with HCV1 and three out of four don’t know they are infected.
Among the 3 million over-the-road truck drivers in the U.S., the inflection rate is believed to be about 8.5 percent.
Baby boomers (adults born between 1945 and 1965 and who comprise the largest segment of truck drivers) are five times more likely to have HCV than other adults, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
While 80 percent of patients infected with HCV experience no symptoms, the virus can still be detected in the blood. Symptoms of chronic HCV can take 30 years to develop and damage to the liver can silently occur during this time. When symptoms do appear, it is often a sign of advanced liver disease. Further progression of advanced liver cirrhosis can result in liver failure or liver cancer.
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