Professors at the University of Illinois Springfield don’t want research to slow down because of the state budget impasse, so they’re taking matters into their own hands.

Researchers want to study the effect of Hepatitis C on central Illinois’ homeless population, particularly in Springfield, Bloomington, Decatur and other sites. Kanwal (KA-wal) Alvarez says this research has never been done, so the human and fiscal tolls are a mystery.

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“The taxpayers are going to be the ones absorbing the costs,” Alvarez says. “So do you want to absorb it early on? Or do you want to wait until the liver transplant stage and possibly absorb it then?”

The group hit its initial crowdfunding goal of $500 over the weekend, which will be used to buy 20 Hep C test kits. Alvarez hopes to raise enough money to make a strong case for federal funding in a few years.

(Copyright WBGZ / )