Three recent articles have examined the current state of hepatitis C advocacy. The articles cover a range of topics, including state strategic planning initiatives, liver disease research, and legislation. Several leading advocates are interviewed, and there's discussion about issues for specific groups -- drug users, prisoners, people with HIV, and veterans.
Many people have been working on hepatitis C advocacy for years, but a new wave of interest and energy bodes well for the future. Time to get involved -- here's Ten Ways You Can Help from Alan Franciscus of the Hepatitis C Support Project, along with Tips for Writing Letters of Support to Congress.
Here are the links to the articles, followed by some related links for further reading.
Politics and Perceptions: Hepatitis in the Public Arena by Benjamin Ryan, NUMEDX Hepatitis Journal, 2003
HCV Advocacy and Activism—More for 2004 by Liz Highleyman, HCV Advocate Newsletter, January 2004 (link to PDF of full newsletter, including Alan Franciscus' 10 Ways to Get Involved and letter-writing tips)
Help with Hep C? by Benjamin Ryan, HIV Plus, April 2004
Related links and resources
National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable -- "a coalition of public, private, and voluntary organizations dedicated to reducing the incidence of infection, morbidity, and mortality from viral hepatitis in the United States through strategic planning, leadership, coordination, advocacy, and research"
Directory of state hepatitis C coordinators -- find out what your state is doing about hepatitis C and get involved in planning
Action Plan for Liver Disease Research, coordinated by the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive and Kidney Diseases' Liver Disease Research Branch -- help shape the plan by submitting comments (instructions) by email (see also a report by NATAP's Jules Levin on a meeting about the plan in November 2003, and presentation slides from the meeting)
Harm Reduction Coalition's Policy Statement on Hepatitis C -- written in Spring 1999, but unfortunately still very relevant
See also the links at the end of yesterday's post for information about HIV/hepatitis C co-infection and the hepatitis C bill.