Next Step Clinic for Hepatitis C
Our family health centers can now treat both hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), two diseases many people are unaware they have that can lead to serious health complications if left untreated.
MAHEC’s family health centers can now treat hepatitis C, a chronic liver infection that can lead to liver damage, cirrhosis, and liver cancer and is the leading cause of liver transplants. Millions of people, especially “baby boomers” born between 1945-1965, have hepatitis C; most do not realize they are infected. People who inject or snort drugs are also at greater risk as the disease is spread through contact with blood from an infected person.
People can live with the disease for decades before showing symptoms. The only way to know for sure is to get tested. You can learn more in this Hepatitis C Fact Sheet.
Hepatitis C can be successfully treated
While hepatitis C can lead to serious complications including liver failure and premature death, there are effective treatments. More than 95 percent of patients can be cured by taking oral medicines that have minimal side effects for 8 to 12 weeks, depending on the medication.
What to expect at your visits
If you have tested positive for hepatitis C, you or your healthcare provider can refer you to our Next Step Clinic for treatment.
- At your first visit, we will review your health history and perform any additional lab work you may need.
- You will meet with a MAHEC provider, pharmacist, and case manager to ensure we can address your specific health needs.
- At subsequent visits, we will prescribe medication to treat hepatitis C and will monitor your progress; we can help you arrange pharmacy pick up or delivery.
- You will come in for lab work approximately 4 weeks after starting your medication and 12 weeks after finishing it.
Insurance and financial assistance are available
MAHEC accepts most major forms of health insurance including Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance. If you do not have insurance, our financial assistance program can help make your visits and medication affordable. We may be able to provide medication at no cost for uninsured patients.
How can you get an appointment?
If you need to be tested, contact your healthcare provider or call Buncombe County Health Department at 828- 250-5000 or WNCAP at 828-252-7489 to schedule an appointment for a free and confidential test.
If you have tested positive, you can ask your healthcare provider to make a referral to the Next Step Clinic at MAHEC Family Health Center or you can call Monica Gonzalez at 828-771-3488 to schedule an appointment.