Tonight, Dr. Bruce Bacon from St. Louis University will join Dr. Joe Galati and discuss a recent article explaining that there are more deaths from Hepatitis C over HIV. Dr. Bacon is the James F. King MD Endowed Chair in Gastroenterology, and Professor of Medicine; Co-Director, Liver Center at St. Louis University. Dr. Bacon and Dr. Galati are both liver specialists.

A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that the rate of hepatitis-related deaths exceeded AIDS deaths caused by the HIV virus over the past decade. Researchers examined 22 million death records nationwide from 1999 to 2007 and found that 15,000 people died of hepatitis C compared to 13,000 deaths from HIV.

Hepatitis is a viral infection that can lead to liver damage, liver cancer and death. The virus has different forms including A, B and C.

The highest risk group appears to be people born between 1945 and 1965 who make up about 75 percent of the 3.2 million with the hepatitis C virus, according to the study released this week in the Annals of Internal Medicine. About 1.4 million people have chronic hepatitis B, according to the study.

An abstract of the article can be read here.

If you have risk factors, get tested. Free testing is availabe here.