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Author Topic: How did you get HCV? Transfusion, IV, Needles, Healthcare worker?  (Read 11164 times)

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Offline canythingbutaverage

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  • Genotype 1a (Q30Q/R, H58D, Y93Y/C)
    • C Anything But Average
There are many ways to get HCV, and i think it helps talking about where it comes from. The ability to come to grips with the source is for some a large part of the challenge of looking for support.

Some people have only a clue as to what might be the source, my mother suspects it was due to her time working in a medical office in San Francisco in the late 70s/early 80s.
As for myself, i know who gave it to me, and when i got it. I am a vertical transfer, i received it from my mother, right after birth.

So let's talk about something we're afraid to talk about, there is no judgment here, just love. The guilt, the shame, the worry, have no place here. Say what you feel comfortable with, and remember that to truly have courage, one must overcome fear.
Energy and persistence conquer all things

http://blogs.hepmag.com/ricknash/

Offline lporterrn

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  • LucindaPorterRN
    • LucindaPorterRN
Re: How did you get HCV? Transfusion, IV, Needles, Healthcare worker?
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2014, 05:41:35 pm »
Well put. I decided early in my career to let go of shame, not an easy thing to do for a nurse with hep C. However, if I am not ashamed, then I can't be stigmatized. Hep C taught me so much, and although I am now cured, it gave me far more than it took from me.
Lucinda Porter, RN
1988 Contracted HCV
1997 Interferon nonresponder
2003 PEG + ribavirin responder-relapser
2013 Cured (Harvoni + ribavirin clinical trial)
http://blogs.hepmag.com/lucindakporter/

Offline DesertGuy

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Re: How did you get HCV? Transfusion, IV, Needles, Healthcare worker?
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2014, 06:16:28 pm »
For me, it's a multiple choice question.
Blood transfusion in 1965--motorcycle wreck as a child.
Injections from Military on inoculation day with the air gun
Sex-drugs-and Rock and roll--needles

Offline Mike

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Re: How did you get HCV? Transfusion, IV, Needles, Healthcare worker?
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2014, 07:59:47 pm »
For me, it wasn't shame - it was the discrimination that comes with the dx.

Simply put, there's a lot of preconceived notion about Hep-C in the general population - and, sadly in the medical community as well.

For example, I've been around health professionals that, once my diagnosis was known, I could sense a change in their behavior - both overt and nonverbal.

I've had phlebotomist hurriedly draw my blood once the read the order (their body posture also became tense as did the tone of the conversation). I actually had one "jab" me with the needle, going through the vein and leaving a giant bruise.

I've had doctors refuse or question my need for pain medication, after asking me "how's the hep doing?",  because the assumption was I "got the virus" from drug abuse.

I've had other health professionals do the old " you must have got it through a blood transfusion in the 80's" wink-wink.

In fact, when I had to be cleared by an ophthalmologist to begin interferon, he went on to give a lecture to his MA intern on how one gets Hep-C (drug use, homosexual lifestyles, transfusions) and the damage the virus can cause, which is the only use for this drug - none of which was germane to why I was there.

Unfortunately, this ignorance (actually bigotry) came from health professionals who should know better.

Because of this, it's not hard to extrapolate how much greater this ignorance/bigotry is in the general population (employers, acquaintances and so-called friends).

So for me, I'm not ashamed of the drug usage that led to the infection - I made a mistake sharing a needle 33 years ago - and I'm paying for that youthful indiscretion. What's truly shameful is how people treat those dx'd with Hep-C.

Best wishes, Mike


« Last Edit: July 01, 2014, 08:10:55 pm by Mike »
Genotype 1a
Treated 2001 with PEG and RIBV
Treated in 2014 SOL+PEG+RIBV
Cured July 2014

Offline lporterrn

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Re: How did you get HCV? Transfusion, IV, Needles, Healthcare worker?
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2014, 10:01:16 pm »
Mike, I wish what you said wasn't true, but I have seen it many times. Fortunately I have seen far more true angels in my profession. It doesn't make the pain go away, but it does give me hope.
Lucinda Porter, RN
1988 Contracted HCV
1997 Interferon nonresponder
2003 PEG + ribavirin responder-relapser
2013 Cured (Harvoni + ribavirin clinical trial)
http://blogs.hepmag.com/lucindakporter/

Offline Mike

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Re: How did you get HCV? Transfusion, IV, Needles, Healthcare worker?
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2014, 11:19:26 pm »
Unfortunately, I've had to learn this and, hence, I'm very careful who knows my Hep-C status. It is almost a taboo topic - something I don't talk about.

When I did a 48 week treatment in 2001, I just told folks I was doing chemotherapy and left it at that. No one questioned it, as cancer is a taboo topic as well.

Hep-C in so many ways, drives us underground. Out of sight - out of mind, which is what I've always thought the second meaning of "Hepatitis C is the 'silent killer.'"

But that's all changing with these new, miracle drugs! Now there is real hope that we can all slaying this dragon.

Best wishes, Mike
Genotype 1a
Treated 2001 with PEG and RIBV
Treated in 2014 SOL+PEG+RIBV
Cured July 2014

Offline jberlin

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  • Contracted Hep C in 76, treated 2004 & 2012, cured
Re: How did you get HCV? Transfusion, IV, Needles, Healthcare worker?
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2014, 06:32:36 pm »
Life isn't hard enough, and the treatment not tough enough, that any of us should have to face that bull$*#&!  I know I got Hep C in a surgery in 1976 where I got many units of blood, but I have also worked with people that got it from needles.  My message to them, and anyone out there, is that I don't care what you did in the past, just what you do from today forward!

jack

Offline doug

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Re: How did you get HCV? Transfusion, IV, Needles, Healthcare worker?
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2014, 10:22:36 am »
back in 1977 / 78  as a teenager I worked the night shift at our local hospital,  housekeeping and the laundry.  many times I would pull a bag of trash from the lab and a glass tube or something else sharp would poke through the bag and get me. same in the laundry,  soiled surgical linen with a needle buried in it.  hospital policy was to get a tetnus shot.  10 years later I was turned away at the blood bank due to high liver enzyme levels.  then in 1990 or so a doc told me I had a new type of hep that they did not know much about and I should probably avoid alcohol.  well I was a beer drinker and what the doc told me did not sink in.  another 10 years past and I wound up in the hospital with a stomach bug and that's when they finally explained it to me, that is when I took it seriously and gave up alcohol 100% .  a little too late.   I now have chirrosis and all the related issues (portal hypertension, enlarged spleen etc.)   my average platlet count over the past 10-13 years has been 50  so I have never been a candidate for interferon.  I have high hopes for the sovaldi / olysio treatment and I;m encouraged by all of the positive feedback.  as for the people that look at us as a bunch of junkies with self-inflicted illness---   screw them, we're not in this for them.   may the Good Lord bless us all with a cure.

Offline Mike

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Re: How did you get HCV? Transfusion, IV, Needles, Healthcare worker?
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2014, 01:09:48 pm »
Amen, Brother

Mike
Genotype 1a
Treated 2001 with PEG and RIBV
Treated in 2014 SOL+PEG+RIBV
Cured July 2014

Offline yag1064

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  • Enjoy the life you have.
Re: How did you get HCV? Transfusion, IV, Needles, Healthcare worker?
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2014, 02:16:04 pm »
Hi Mike,
    I had HEPC. I just took wk 11 shot of 12wk treatment today. Was undetectable after wk 2.  You bring and interesting topic to light, the question "Where did I get the virus."? I spent several years maybe more agonizing over it. Then I realized it was a waste of time for me. What difference does it really make? I was still faced with how do I live with it. So all the times I made myself feel bad with regret could have been used in other ways. This was even harder after being told the I was a non-responder to therapy back in 2007. 
   The true value of this question is to find out why it is important for me to know. Explore the root of the question and touch that sad spot. It showed me a little about who I am and what is important to me. When I saw my hopes and fears for what they are, obstacles in getting through life, they lost there pull. I began to live my life with the virus. I made friends with it. Changed my view. Became a Buddhist and began to celebrate living. My heath stabilized and I felt better. I really never believed I would be rid of the virus but I have a mantra I say every night. "Eliminate the virus. Regenerated my liver". This May I started interferon/rib/Solvadi and that is what has happened.

   So to bring my response to the end here is my 2 cents.
.. the question is not good or bad. It can lead to discovery.
.. using it as a source of regret or optimism seems pointless.
.. don't believe everything you think.
.. try not to be short sighted.
.. never stop smiling.


It takes a brave person to live with HepC.. and we all are doing it the best way we can. That speaks volumes..

Blessings all,

yag1064
Tested positive 2007
Non respond-er to treatment 16wk of 48wk
Started I/R/Sol May 2014
Hep C returned as of Jan 2015
Started Harvoni Sep 16, 2015
1st Test V/L:20
2nd Test V/L: undetectable
Dec 2015 EOT V/L undetectable
12 wk SVR :undetectable  Mar 25,2016
24 wk SVR: undetectable  Jun 24,2016
52 wk SVR undetectable   Dec 16,2016   -- I,m past it!!!
Shambhala

Offline lporterrn

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    • LucindaPorterRN
Re: How did you get HCV? Transfusion, IV, Needles, Healthcare worker?
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2014, 02:19:29 pm »
Well-said Yag1064!
Lucinda Porter, RN
1988 Contracted HCV
1997 Interferon nonresponder
2003 PEG + ribavirin responder-relapser
2013 Cured (Harvoni + ribavirin clinical trial)
http://blogs.hepmag.com/lucindakporter/

 


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