Hepatitis C – Dialogue with Black Communities in NS


RIbbon Hep CThroughout February and March 2013, HepNSĀ  (the Hepatitis Outreach Society of Nova Scotia) conducted a short community outreach project to get a sense of how hepatitis C was affecting, being talked about or being addressed in the African, Caribbean and Black communities in the HRM.

Since 1999 the Hepatitis Outreach Society of Nova Scotia (HepNS) has been providing resources and support to Nova Scotians who are living with hepatitis. During this time, we have seen an alarming rise in the number of cases of hepatitis C and its complications diagnosed provincially and nationally.


Unlike HIV in Canada, statistics on Hepatitis C are not stratified by race. In the U.S., Hepatitis C
in the African-American population is proportionally rising at a greater rate than in other
populations. What is not known is if these statistics are influenced by economic
factors or issues of access to health care.
In this context, we thought it was time to begin a dialogue in the African, Caribbean and Black
communities in Nova Scotia to identify needs relating to Hepatitis C that are unrecognized and
concerns that may not be addressed.
stages of liver damage
The impression from treating physicians in Nova Scotia is
that these communities are not over-represented in Hepatitis C clinics. The question for us is
whether this reflects a low prevalence of Hepatitis C in the African/Caribbean/Black
communities or a low rate of detection driven by other social forces such as unrecognized risk factors for the virus, stigma and access to specialized care

The ideas and suggestions from the community consultations and workshops conducted through this project, encourages us to continue dialogues with like agencies, look for community partnerships in hepatitis prevention work and how to make our workshops more effective for all communities.

Click on this link for the summary report for this project. Dialogue with the African Caribbean and Black Communities about Hepatitis – April 2013

If you have any questions about the report or the work of HepNS (http://www.hepns.ca/), please feel free to connect directly with HepNS Executive Director Colin Green at director@hepns.ca

For more information you can also visit http://healthyblackmen.org/2011/03/20/what-do-you-know-about-hepatitis-c/