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E. HIV Patients at High Risk for Hepatitis C Have Low Treatment Rates

Narrator: This is Science Today. Low-income HIV patients, who are at the highest risk for Hepatitis C infection, have the lowest rates of treatment. According to David Bangsberg, an associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, seventy percent of HIV-infected urban poor in San Francisco are co-infected with Hepatitis C. Yet despite good access to medical care, only 4% are being treated for their hepatitis infection.

Bangsberg: One of the reasons treatment was rare is that this is a complex population. Not only is drug use a common problem, but mental illness is a common challenge as well as unstable housing and homelessness and so that makes this a challenging population to treat.

Narrator: Despite the challenges, Bangsberg says patients can be treated using an integrated approach.

Bangsberg: Which can simultaneously address the problems of mental illness, problems of substance use, as well as very complicated infectious diseases like HIV and hepatitis C.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.