Breaking the Barriers to Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is curable, but approximately 500,000 people still die each year from Hep C-related liver diseases even when new treatments have success rates of 90-99%. Access to treatment is improving, but is still limited in Canada where it remains very expensive.

At CUPS, we break down barriers for low-income individuals to access Hep C treatment. Our Hepatitis C Clinic – along with our other health services– uses a harm reduction approach to caring for all people who visit our clinic. As opposed to other clinics that see patients once before treatment and once after treatment, we generally see patients weekly to support them the best way we can, which leads to a higher number of people completing the treatment.

In fact, 57/59 people who completed Hep C treatment at CUPS last year were cured, indicating a 97% success rate.

Our other Hep C services include outreach, onsite fibroscans, and peer support groups. CUPS has three nurses who do outreach care with nine of our community partners to engage individuals infected by Hep C who haven’t yet accessed care. We also host fibroscan days, which saw almost 300 individuals come for on-site fibroscans last year alone. Fibroscans are a required assessment to access Hep C treatment, and having these monthly fibroscan days greatly facilitates access to treatment. To provide moral support, CUPS has a peer support group run by individuals with lived experience.

Thanks to continued support from our funders and community partners, CUPS has been able to break down the barriers for an already marginalized population to gain access to Hep C treatment. Let’s continue to work together to eliminate Hepatitis C altogether.

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#ShineALight on the Numbers

● 1 in 10 Calgarians live in poverty

● 1 in 4 Canadians lives with diabetes, undiagnosed diabetes or prediabetes

● 1 in 5 Canadians experience mental illness or addiction problems each year

● 4 million people in Canada experience food insecurity

● 1 in 8 Canadian households struggle to put food on the table.

● An estimated 45% of the overall homeless population are individuals living with mental illness

● 28 – 34% of shelter users are Indigenous peoples

● 40% of Indigenous children in Canada live in poverty

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