In early 2015 Kentucky shocked the nation by becoming the first Southern state to officially legalize syringe exchange programs. Since then the news has covered the successful roll-out of a couple different syringe exchange programs through local health departments, but has also reported some backlash coming from the legislature.
It's discouraging to realize that there are many more people with hepatitis C than we thought, but solutions are better found when they are based on facts rather than fiction. Now that we know the truth, we can roll up our sleeves and figure out how we are going to stamp out this preventable and curable disease.
We have an opportunity to eliminate hepatitis C by taking appropriate and timely steps. We as a society should be willing to pay for the current HCV therapies -- for all patients -- by providing additional resources and giving the attention to hepatitis C that it deserves now. If we can do this, hepatitis C may be a nonissue by 2035.