ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Public health officials, elected leaders, medical experts and patient advocates will gather this week for New York's first-ever Hepatitis C summit.

The gathering Tuesday in Albany is meant to discuss the response to the chronic illness which afflicts more than 200,000 people in the state.

Organizers of the event say hepatitis C now kills more people nationally than HIV.

Panel discussions will touch on prevention, treatment and suggestions for policy makers looking to help eliminate the disease.

Hepatitis C is spread through contact with contaminated blood. The ongoing heroin and opioid epidemic has emerged as a new contributor to the spread of the disease.

More From WIBX 950