Month: May 2018


What is Hepatitis C?


Hepatitis C is a contagious liver disease that ranges in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, lifelong illness that attacks the liver. It results from infection with the Hepatitis C virus (HCV), which is spread primarily through contact with the blood of an infected person. Hepatitis C can be either “acute” or “chronic.”

Acute Hepatitis C virus infection is a short-term illness that occurs within the first 6 months after someone is exposed to the Hepatitis C virus. For most people, acute infection leads to chronic infection.

Chronic Hepatitis C virus infection is a long-term illness that occurs when the Hepatitis C virus remains in a person’s body. Hepatitis C virus infection can last a lifetime and lead to serious liver problems, including cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) or liver cancer.

If you are an older adult (Baby Boomer) born from 1945 and 1965, you are probably at higher risk of having     HEP C so GET TESTED!

For more go to:

Content source: Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Why are Hispanics at higher risk for HIV?


 ealth Awareness—Soldado Avisado no Muere en Guerra.

Get Tested!   HIV & HEP C

Why are Hispanics at higher risk for HIV?  People who do not know they have HIV cannot take advantage of HIV care and treatment and may unknowingly pass HIV to others. A number of challenges contribute to the higher rates of HIV infection among Hispanics/Latinos:

  • More Hispanics/Latinos are living with HIV than some other races/ethnicities.
  • Hispanics/Latinos have higher rates of some STDs than some other races/ethnicities. Having another STD can increase a person’s chance of getting or transmitting HIV.
  • Though not unique to Hispanics stigma, fear, discrimination, and homophobia impact Hispanic lives. These issues may put many Hispanics at higher risk for HIV infection.
  • Poverty, migration patterns, and language barriers may make it harder for Hispanics to get HIV testing and care.
  • Undocumented Hispanics/Latinos may be less likely to use HIV prevention services, get an HIV test, or get treatment if HIV-positive because of concerns about being arrested and deported.

For more go to:

Doing It is a bilingual national HIV testing and prevention campaign to motivate all to get tested for HIV and know their status. Doing It delivers the message that HIV testing should be a part of everyone’s regular health routine to keep ourselves and our community healthy.  Spanish language site on HIV and AIDS and related illnesses, such as HEP C.


TB cases have increased 10 percent


Health Department Report: Tuberculosis Cases in NYC Jumped 10 Percent in 2017

Health Department: 86 Percent The City’s Patients Were Born Outside of the United States

TB cases have increased 10 percent, with 613 cases in 2017, up from 556 the previous year, according to the report by the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The number of people diagnosed with multidrug-resistant form of the disease also increased.

“Tuberculosis is a deadly, yet curable disease. The Health Department is the leading provider of tuberculosis care in New York City, and we are concerned about these new data that show TB rates have increased among New Yorkers,” Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said. “We’re committed to ensuring equitable access to rapid and quality diagnosis and treatment for all New Yorkers.”

People born outside the United States account for 86 percent of the city’s TB patients. In addition, Queens remained the borough with the highest rate of the disease (10.6 per 100,000 people). The citywide rate is 7.5 per 100,000 people, the report said.

“New York City has been a leader in TB control, and we need to address this increase in cases,” said Dr. Joseph Burzynski, assistant commissioner of the Health Department’s Bureau of TB Control. “It will require a coordinated public health response, coupled with the city’s robust health care infrastructure, to make progress in the effort to eliminate tuberculosis as a threat in New York City.”

Tuberculosis is a disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It has two stages: latent TB infection and active TB disease. The former happens when bacteria are living in the body, but not causing any symptoms. Symptoms of the latter form of the disease may include weight loss, a persistent cough, chest pain, coughing up blood or phlegm, loss of appetite, chills, fever, or night sweats.

With proper diagnosis and treatment, tuberculosis can be prevented and cured, doctors say.  Spanish language site on HIV and AIDS and related illnesses, such as HEP C.


Unintentional Drug Overdoses high among Latinos in the LES, CB#3 Recommends Community Navigation Model

The New York City Department of Health reported that:

  • In 2015 – of all races/ethnicities, Latino New Yorkers had the largest increase (46%) in unintentional drug overdose deaths involving heroin and/or fentanyl
  • In 2016, of all races/ethnicities, Black New Yorkers had the largest increase (80%) unintentional drug overdose deaths

This is of concern in CD 3 where 33.9 % of CD 3 residents are Black or Latino (7.3% black, 26.6% Latino). Currently there has been funding for “overdose prevention” and the distribution of “NARCAN” kits throughout the community; yet this alone is not enough to curtail the heroin and opiate epidemic. While some funding has been put into overdose prevention, much more support is required for programs to follow-up with help and resources to navigate those addicted into formal therapy or addiction treatment. One effective program design currently in the early stages of development is the community navigator model, where trained and certified “recovery coaches” or “peer mentors” work in the community and engage individuals and families, steering them towards appropriate resources. Many of these former addicts or individuals who have personal or family experience, have been trained and certified as “advocates” or “navigators” to help those addicted access the resources and information they need. City and state agencies need to expand this model and funding to other neighborhoods including CD 3 where there is a need and the existence of community-based organizations who have experience in doing this.

Excerpt from LES CB#3 District Needs Report – 2017-2018


Fentanyl/Cocaine Awareness Campaign

Health Department Launches Fentanyl Awareness Campaign in Lower East Side Bars

The city’s Department of Health has kicked off a pilot program in bars and clubs to raise awareness about the dangers of fentanyl-laced cocaine.

Fentanyl is an opioid 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin. In 2016, fentanyl was found in 37 percent of overdose deaths involving cocaine, up from 11 percent in 2015. The Health Department is distributing coasters and posters at nightlife venues in the neighborhood. The agency will also train bar staff members to administer naloxone, a medication that reverses an opioid overdose, and will hand out naloxone kits.

According to a press release:

The Lower East Side was selected for the pilot because of its high density of bars and nightclubs and status as a nightlife destination. The pilot area is bounded by Delancey Street on the south, Houston Street on the north, Bowery on the east, and Essex Street on the west… “We’re going into bars and nightclubs because we want to reach people who may only use cocaine occasionally. We want them to know that fentanyl is in our cocaine supply, and they are at risk of an opioid overdose,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “If you use cocaine, make sure someone is with you who can call 911 or administer naloxone in case you have an opioid overdose. We are grateful for the support of our local bars and nightclubs to get this message out.”

According to the Health Department,  there were 1,441 overdose deaths in New York City last year, and opioids were involved in over 80 percent of those cases.