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Author Topic: Know what's going on? Good, because we have no clue...  (Read 7893 times)

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Offline QueenJessicaWhite

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 1
Know what's going on? Good, because we have no clue...
« on: March 28, 2015, 11:38:16 am »
Hi there!

It has been a pretty crap 2 days for my husband and I and we can't wait to get some input from those in the know.
  Due to a mistake from those in Duval county court systems here in Jacksonville, Florida (no surprise there!), my husband and I had to spend 22 days in jail awaiting a court date so the Judge could say "You guys never should have been here! That warrant was cleared a year ago! I'm sorry, you can go home" (!!!!) Thank you Jacksonville for that vacation from all of our responsibilities in life, by the way...I just love hanging out with the vast majority of prostitutes and crack heads that you have to offer.
   In any case, yesterday, having just been released from our wrongful imprisonment and my husband had lost his job, he decided to try and donate plasma to make a little bit of money to buy some necessities. He had already donated twice before we were locked up, so no reason it shouldn't happen again. However, this time, he was given paperwork telling him that both of his previous donations were tested positive for HCV. What a shock!
   My husband and I know NOTHING about this disease other than it affects your liver. We have read the CDC website and wiki, but it still only gives us general information. On one hand, we have the lady at the plasma center telling us that Hep C is the new HIV/AIDS and is "the silent killer", and then others telling us it is nothing. We don't know if we should be scared, or worried, or flippant! I am on SSI disability for Bipolar disorder and have insulin resistant type 2 diabetes already, so I have health insurance and am going to get checked ASAP. My husband does not have health insurance and is unsure of where to go to get diagnostics done so we can find out how far along this positive result is and what we should do.
  If anyone has any advice, information, a kind word, or even a funny joke (laughter would be nice right about now), please be kind and pass along the knowledge! I appreciate it and hope everyone is having a MUCH better month than we are!

Offline Mike

  • Member
  • Posts: 999
Re: Know what's going on? Good, because we have no clue...
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2015, 04:12:52 pm »
Hi QueenJessicaWhite,

Sorry to hear about your recent legal experience; but at least it's over.

Regarding HCV: It use to be known as the silent killer, and it wasn't until the early 90's that an effective test was developed to accurately diagnose the disease (it use to be referred to as Hepatitis Non-A Non-B).

The term 'Silent Killer' was coined to highlight the fact that HCV progresses over decades and most of those infected don't show signs or symptoms of the disease for many years after it is contracted. In addition, once HCV was identified as a specific viral infection that can significantly damage the liver, there were no effective treatments available to clear the HCV viral infection.

Because of this, most who contracted HCV were left with the knowledge that there was little of chance of a cure, and, if the disease progressed, there was nothing medically available that could stop the damage to the liver.

That was then - and this is now: HCV treatments have progressed to the point that 90%+ can be cleared of the viral infection, and thus cured.

When I treated in 2001, I had about a 25-35% chance of clearing the virus and, given that statistics, my first treatment failed.

Fortunately, due to treatment advancements made in the last 3 years, I was treated with a 12 week course of the miracle drug Sovaldi in 2014 and cured!

Here's some nuts & bolts regarding HCV: 80% of those infected don't have symptoms, don't have liver disease and never will develop significant health issues. 20% of those infected may have progressive liver disease with minimal to moderate liver damage; and 20% of these will develop cirrhosis which can progress to end-stage liver disease or cancer. Because of this, HCV can be a very serious disease in some of those infected.

The good news is that HCV can be effectively treated and cured in most (90%+) and this is only going to get better in the near future.

To confirm the diagnosis, your husband will need additional blood work, which will include a liver panel and RNA viral count. This is because initial testing conducted at a plasma and/or blood donations center only test for the presence of the HCV antibody, which only proves that the person was exposed to the HCV virus - not that they have an active infection (upwards to 30-40% of those exposed to HCV clear the infection during the acute phase through natural antibodies produced by our own immune systems).

Once the diagnosis is confirmed and the viral load and genotype are known, your husband can be evaluated for the specific treatment that will help clear the virus (remember current treatments are curing 9+ out of 10 people with long term chronic infections!).

The bad news is your husband might have an active HCV infection. The good news is it can be cured!!!

In regards to insurance, your husband may qualify for Medicaid or subsidized insurance through the health exchange. I would recommend calling 211, which is a national relay for First Call for Help. This is a referral resource run by the United Way, and they can put you in touch with agencies and organizations in your area that can help with medical issues.

Hang in there and let us know if you have additional questions.

Best wishes, Mike

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

 


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