HIV & Liver Disease
Recent data shows that deaths from Hepatitis C (a disease which causes cirrhosis, or excessive scarring, of the liver) has exceeded deaths from HIV in the United States. This trend is reflected here in Alachua County by the slowly increasing number of deaths annually from both Hepatitis C and HIV, with Hepatitis C deaths outstripping HIV deaths by a factor of 2. Liver disease deaths include cirrhosis from Hepatitis C as well as cirrhosis from alcohol abuse. Hepatitis C has no cure besides liver transplant, and it is not known how to prevent it other than being cautious about body piercings, tattooing and practicing safe sex if you choose to have sex. One way to combat liver disease would be to educate our youth about the dangers of unsafe sex and alcohol abuse. The state of Florida has removed the graduation requirement for health education. We could, as a county, add it back to our local curriculum for each and every student.