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Brotherhood Crusade Test 750 During 4-Day Hepatitis C National Health Initiative
By By Nefertiti Austin, Contributing Writer
Published July 5, 2007

The Brotherhood Crusade partnered with ATL, County of Los Angeles Public Health Nurses and Reverend Joyce Randall, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Council of Churches for faith-based testing of Hepatitis C this weekend. In four days, 750 men and women were counseled, tested and educated about Hepatitis C by a team of nurses, a physician’s assistant and staff from the Brotherhood Crusade. Testing occurred at: Union Rescue Mission, Midnight Mission, Mount Carmel Recovery Center, Dare U to Care, First to Serve, Bethel AME Church, Holman United Methodist Church, Leap of Faith Community Baptist Church and Southern Missionary Baptist Church.

The ATL is a national vendor for Roche Pharmaceuticals’ Hepatitis C Faith Based Education and Screening Program. Based in New York, they operate all over the country and annually test approximately 15,000 African Americans and Hispanics, with the Egyptian community being their primary target.

The ATL has tested congregations at Bishop Eddie Long’s New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia; Bishop David Evans’ Bethany Baptist church in Lindenwald, NY; Reverend Doctor Floyd Flake in NY; University Park Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC; Mt. Araret Baptist Church, PA and many others.

As the Brotherhood Crusade has partnered with The Balm in Gilead and Roche Pharmaceuticals, Hepatitis C testing in Los Angeles will occur regularly. “We are excited about being part of the solution,” said President and CEO Charisse Bremond Weaver, who added, “I’ve said it before and will continue to do so: “we are committed to decreasing the numbers of infected people in our community. Love your liver—get tested!”

In Los Angeles County, 180,000 people have Hepatitis C and 1 in 15 African-Americans have this virus and don’t even know it. Most people who test positive for Hepatitis C carry the virus for the rest of their lives, even if they do not feel sick. While there is no cure for Hepatitis C, the disease can be managed, with appropriate medical intervention.

In November 2006, Brotherhood Crusade was chosen as lead for faith-based agencies in Los Angeles County to begin testing, informing and educating residents about this chronic and sometimes life-threatening blood disease. “Hepatitis C presents as inflammation of the liver and has common symptoms of fatigue, abdominal pain, jaundice and itchy skin. It is primarily transmitted through shared drug needles and may cause some people to develop cirrhosis, liver failure and/or liver cancer,” said Miriam Ha, MPH, PA-C of the East Valley Community Health Center. Other ways of contracting

Hepatitis C include: intranasal cocaine use; transmission from Hepatitis C-infected mother to baby; and sexual activity with an Hepatitis C-infected partner.

The Brotherhood Crusade is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit institution founded in 1968 to provide necessary resources, program services and a voice of advocacy to traditionally underserved communities. Our mission is to remove and/or help individuals overcome the barriers that deter their pursuit of success and facilitate opportunities for a better quality of life, by promoting health and wellness, enhancing educational opportunities, cultivating economic growth and building community agencies and institutions.

If you would like to make a contribution to the Brotherhood Crusade, please send your tax-deductible gift to:
Brotherhood Crusade
200 E. Slauson Avenue
Los Angeles, Ca 90011

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