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5. Prevention and Control Activities

I figured I'd start with the issue of prevention, and maybe put the definitions of some terms up here - this is public health 101. Primary prevention is no new infections. That's the thing that we all strive for, and is the most important. But remember that, as I showed you before, we still have a number of people in the United States that are chronically infected, and so we've got to deal with people who have already acquired an infection. And that starts dealing with the issue of secondary prevention - and what do I mean by that? Well, that is the person, and I will use hepatitis B as an example, who is chronically infected, and you want to prevent him from transmitting it to others. The easiest way with that disease is that you are vaccinating the people in their household and their sexual or close contacts. So that is secondary prevention - with hepatitis C it is making sure that you are not transmitting to others, which is a hard task, but something we need to be thinking about. And lastly, is tertiary prevention, and that is really medical evaluation and appropriate treatment, which may take on the form of anti-virals, or may take on the form of liver wellness, making sure that we don't further injure an already somewhat compromised liver. So that is how I use prevention, and this theme that you are going to see through the rest of my presentation, is that this is what we ought to be thinking about.