Recognizing the severe impact of the hepatitis C epidemic in San Francisco, in early 2008 concerned individuals urged the creation of a task force to formulate a local response. Then mayor Gavin Newsom appointed 32 members of the San Francisco Hepatitis C Task Force, including medical and social service providers, public health officials, hepatitis C advocates, people living with and affected by hepatitis C, and other stakeholders and experts. The SFHCTF began meeting in November 2009, and a year later produced a comprehensive set of Strategic Recommendations grounded in a vision of a San Francisco where:
• Everyone is educated about hepatitis C and has the opportunity to know their hepatitis C status;
• Everyone living with hepatitis C receives the highest level of care and support to ensure their quality of life and longevity;
• There are no new hepatitis C transmissions.
The SF Hepatitis C Task Force continues as an independent advocacy group, updating our Priority Recommendations yearly. We have succeeded in getting a Viral Hepatitis Coordinator at the SF Department of Public Health in 2014 and in procuring increased funding for 2015 and 2016 for SFDPH to perform hepatitis C awareness, screening, and linkage to care activities. We are active members of the California Hepatitis Alliance and participate in national advocacy efforts, while conducting local outreach and education and providing a forum for all hepatitis C stakeholders, analyzing and addressing needs in the City and County of San Francisco.