OraSure Technologies Inc. of Bethlehem is kicking off a campaign with partner AbbVie pharmaceutical and the Healthy Trucking Association of America to launch a Hepatitis C awareness campaign in the trucking industry called Truckers Rolling Against Hepatitis C.
They will be launching the campaign at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas on Thursday, and will be continuing with events across the nation over the next several months.
According to Ron Ticho, senior vice president of corporate communications at OraSure, professional truckers have more than five times the risk of contracting Hepatitis C than the rest of the population. He said the age demographic and lifestyle of the professional trucking population puts it higher at risk.
But now, he said, with a cure available that can successfully treat about 90 percent of those infected with the Hepatitis C virus, getting tested and treated is more vital than ever.
“About 8.5 percent of professional truckers have Hepatitis C, and close to 75 percent of them are unaware of their infection,” Ticho said.
OraSure developed a rapid test for Hepatitis C that can give results quickly and easily.
Ticho said that in the past health care professionals had problems with people taking the test and then not returning for results.
With the rapid test, he said, those in the highly mobile professional trucking industry can be tested and diagnosed on the spot and be linked to the proper support and treatment.
Ticho said by launching the initiative at the national trucking event, the company hopes not only to reach drivers, but owners, executives and managers in the trucking industry to highlight the importance of testing for Hepatitis C.