British Columbia’s Centre for Disease Control released a report Monday in Prince George at Positive Living North stating that there is no significant difference in the cascade of care for people with Hepatitis C in urban and rural areas.
The report was met with surprise by about 20 people who attended the question and answer session including Executive Director of Positive Living North, Vanessa West.
“There’s always less testing into the rural and remote communities.” West said.
“We have to break down that sigma, discrimination and that mindset, that this is specialized testing and have people in the north in general, regardless if they’re in urban or rural communities to ask their doctor for routine testing for HCV and HIV.”
The study presented by Doctor Nuria Chapinal, with the BCCDC says 8% of people who have Hepatitis C in Urban areas are cured compared to only 6% in rural areas.
Over 73,000 individuals who live in urban centres were examined over a 20 year period until 2012 compared to over 8,400 people in rural areas.
West says she isn’t 100 percent confident in the report.
“I think they need to look at the disparity that’s taking place because when we look at the social disparity that was brought forward.” said West.
“There’s a lot of other factors that we see in the north that may not be as prevalent. We look at addiction, poverty, homelessness and it was mentioned, mental health complications.”