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The Legislature hereby finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Hepatitis C is classified as a silent killer, where no recognizable signs or symptoms occur until severe liver damage has occurred.
(b) Hepatitis C has been characterized by the World Health Organization as a disease of primary concern to humanity.
(c) Studies indicate that 1.8 percent of the population, nearly 4 million Americans, carry the virus HCV that causes hepatitis C. In California, as many as 500,000 individuals may be carriers and could develop the debilitating and potentially deadly liver disease associated with hepatitis C in their lifetime. An expert panel, convened in March by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), estimated that 30,000 acute new infections occur each year in the United States, and only 25 to 30 percent of those are diagnosed. Current data sources indicate that 8,000 to 10,000 Americans die from hepatitis C each year.
(d) Studies also indicate that 39.4 percent of male inmates and 54.5 percent of female inmates in California correctional facilities have hepatitis C, 26 times higher than the general population. Upon their release from prison, these inmates present a significant health risk to the general population of California.
(e) It is the intent of the Legislature to study the adequacy of the health care delivery system as it pertains to hepatitis C.
(f) It is the intent of the Legislature to urge the department to make funds available to community-based nonprofit organizations for education and outreach with respect to the hepatitis C virus.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - California Code, Health and Safety Code - HSC § 122405 - last updated January 01, 2019 | https://codes.findlaw.com/ca/health-and-safety-code/hsc-sect-122405/
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