This Saturday, WaterFire Providence is dedicated to raising awareness about hepatitis C. Organizers are offering free hepatitis C screenings at the event.
WaterFire volunteers will light more than eighty bonfires along the downtown river on Saturday night. A group called Rhode Island Defeats Hep C, led by Dr. Lynn Taylor, organized the lighting.
Because most people don’t know they have the chronic and potentially life-threatening infection, RI Defeats Hep C wants Rhode Islanders to take advantage of the free screening they’re offering at the event. RI Defeats Hep C researchers estimate that as many as 16-thousand Rhode Islanders are chronically infected, and most don’t know it.
Untreated hepatitis C can lead to liver cancer and cirrhosis. But it can be cured. The maker of the most promising—and most expensive—treatment to-date – Sovaldi – happens to be sponsoring Saturday’s WaterFire.