Partnership provides vets with free hepatitis C testing

Veterans received quick, confidential test results onsite at Camp Johnson in Colchester, VT

In May, nearly 300 veterans came to Camp Johnson in Colchester for free testing for hepatitis C. The screenings were made possible through a collaboration between UVM Medical Center and The American Legion.

We donated the testing supplies, and staff from our lab and Community Health Improvement volunteered their time. Lab staff from The University of Vermont Health Network – Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Plattsburgh, NY were also on hand to assist. Staff from the Veterans Administration helped veterans determine eligibility for VA benefits.

Hepatitis C is an infection of the liver than can lead to liver cancer and cirrhosis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 4 million people in the U.S. are estimated to have hepatitis C, including 1 in 30 baby boomers. Up to 75 percent of them are unaware that they have it.

Veterans who tested positive at Camp Johnson were provided with confidential counseling and information on next steps.