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The Boston Globe


Early diagnosis key to treating hepatitis

THANK YOU for your timely article on hepatitis C (“A generation at risk? ” g section, Dec. 24). The piece did an excellent job outlining what can be involved in treating hepatitis C, but minimized the value of early diagnosis.

Not everyone living with hepatitis C will require immediate treatment. But they should be armed with knowledge about the ways that they can live as healthy as possible for as long as possible, and how they can minimize the chances of transmitting the virus to someone else. Those opportunities for health improvement are lost if one lives with the infection without knowing it. The average age of people who die of hepatitis C in Massachusetts is 53 years; these prematurely lost lives are a tragedy.

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