University of Illinois Springfield researchers are taking an unusual tack at getting funds to do research. They have created a crowdfunding account to pay for testing kits. They plan to investigate hepatitis c in homeless people in central Illinois.
UIS professors Kanwal Alvarez and Josiah Alamu need to raise at least $500 and hope to get $2,000.
Alvarez says UIS researchers have not used the fundraising method previously.
For now, the pair plans to test members of homeless populations in Bloomington, Champaign, Decatur, Peoria and Springfield to find out how many people have the virus and to study its transmission. The professors are also working with Dr. Janak Koirala, chief of the division of infectious diseases at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield. Students will be involved as well.
Homeless people are one of the populations most likely to have hepatitis c, which is fatal at a rate greater than HIV if not treated.
Those wishing to make a donation can go to http://go.uis.edu/homeless.