HepConnect supports innovative harm reduction programs and services designed to reach people in need, where they are.

Rising rates of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections in the U.S. require a sustained effort in the communities affected most.

The United States is experiencing rising rates of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections, fueled by the nation’s growing opioid crisis. This issue is particularly acute in greater Appalachia, where the increase in injection drug use has led to a more than three-fold rise in HCV infection rates.1

In response to the intersecting opioid and HCV epidemics, Gilead Sciences launched HepConnect, a new five-year, multi-million-dollar initiative to help address the increase in HCV infections and support community partnerships in Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia.

With an estimated 2.3 million people in the United States living with hepatitis C, it is important that we understand how to combat this epidemic. According to the CDC, the hepatitis C virus kills more Americans than any other infectious disease. The number of infections rose 364 percent between 2006 and 2012 in central Appalachia alone.

For the latest about what’s at stake in our key community partnerships in Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia, visit HepVu.

hepatitis C?

A silent killer within the
nation’s opioid crisis.

The United States is experiencing rising rates of hepatitis C (HCV), fueled by the
nation's growing opioid crisis. Many people become infected with HCV by sharing
contaminated needles used to inject drugs.

million people

are living with hepatitis C
(HCV) in the U.S.

of those

don’t know they have
the virus.2


HCV can lead to liver damage, which can progress to liver disease and liver cancer.
In 2015, nearly 20,000 people died of complications related to HCV.3

In the first phase of HepConnect, more than $5.3 million in grant funding was awarded to Harm Reduction Coalition’s grantees to support community partnerships aiming to implement and expand evidence-based, practical strategies in the fight to address the sharp rise in hepatitis C infections. Harm Reduction Coalition is a national advocacy and capacity-building organization that promotes health and justice for people and communities affected by drug use. Learn more at http://harmreduction.org.

Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a research-based biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercializes innovative medicines in areas of unmet medical need. Gilead is dedicated to transforming and simplifying care for people with life-threatening illnesses around the world. We also recognize that it takes more than medicine to address challenges patients and communities face in accessing the best possible care, and we know that passion for scientific discovery alone — and that Gilead alone — cannot solve these challenges. Gilead applies the same values of partnership, integrity and dedication to our work tackling the social and structural challenges that patients, healthcare providers and other partners must overcome to identify and elevate the best possible solutions.