WaterFire to help raise awareness of hepatitis C

 By The Associated Press


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) _ This weekend’s WaterFire will feature free hepatitis screenings to help raise awareness of a virus that affects an estimated 17,000 Rhode Islanders.             

Confidential screenings will be available on College Street during Saturday night’s lighting.

The checks are part of a campaign to eliminate hepatitis C in the state that is being spearheaded by Dr. Lynn Taylor.  The Miriam Hospital physician and Brown University medical school professor got a $300,000 innovation fellowship from the Rhode Island Foundation.

Three-quarters of those infected are in their 50s and 60s. The foundation says Festival Ballet will perform to the music of baby boomer favorites.

Many who have hepatitis C don’t know it. Highly effective treatment is available.

The Statehouse is also being illuminated yellow in honor of World Hepatitis Day, which is also Saturday.

© The Associated Press/WLNE-TV 2014