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Author Topic: To find out - How long ago HVC was contracted.  (Read 9056 times)

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Offline winter

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  • Posts: 3
To find out - How long ago HVC was contracted.
« on: December 02, 2015, 03:07:01 pm »
I just found out that I am positive for HVC.
Is there anyway to find out how long ago I've contracted Hepatitis C? I am 49 female and had some mild pain under my right rib so I went to see my GP and that is how we found out that I have HVC.

My GI send request for the medication approvals, how long does it take to get it approved and for any reason insurance will not approve it, who should re-appeal? What is the process to get Harvoni? Is there anything that can be expedited in order to get the medication ?
Thank you very much in advance

Offline beto

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  • "no risk it, no biscuit"
Re: To find out - How long ago HVC was contracted.
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2015, 03:28:25 pm »
Hello Winter,

To my knowledge, there is no way to know how long you have hosted the virus.  However, if you recapitulate and look back, you can sometimes determine possibilities

You are 49, so you are in that age range that was most exposed.  Hep C was most prevelent during the 1970s to 1980s.  That does not mean that you could have been exposed more recently, just that, that is a more likely time of infection.

Do you recall getting tattoos, transfusion, perhaps a dental surgery or other type of surgery...or, recall ever getting and injection or blood work at a questionable clinic?  Live with a partner that may have had a lifestyle in earlier years conducive to infection?

Lastly, to you recall getting sick (years back), like a strange "stomach flu" were food was nauseating and you were down for a week or two with malaise, great fatigue?

An educated guess would indicate years ago...but that is not important.  What is important is taking care of business and getting rid of it at this exciting time in Hep history.

If you have not already, find out your genotype, viral load, AST/ALT and other blood markers.  Hopefully get a liver scan or biopsy and discuss treatment with your physician. 

Good luck and keep posting.  We all will love to hear about your journey to cure.  peace
« Last Edit: December 02, 2015, 03:31:23 pm by beto »
HCV/nonA,nonB acute phase 1975
HCV detected active 1990
HCV persistent chronic diagnosis 1995
1995 liver enzymes mild elevations
1996 Biopsy F2 fibrosis
treatment naive geno 1-A
2000-to early 2015 Viral load 150, 000 to 800, 000
recent liver enzymes before treatment alt/ast 59to209,  Fibroscan F4,cirrhosis
start tx Harvoni 7/11/2015
6.5 week-UD-ast/alt 25/25
9wk-UD-ast18 alt23
10/3/15 completed tx
11/5/15 new fibroscan f0-f1 amazed
6wk EOT UD ast/alt 20/20
25wk-SVR! 19/18

Offline winter

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  • Posts: 3
Re: To find out - How long ago HCV was contracted.
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2015, 04:17:07 pm »
Thank you very much for detail explanation.

Offline Lynn K

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  • Posts: 4,545
  • Get tested, get treated, get cured, fight Hep c!
Re: To find out - How long ago HVC was contracted.
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2015, 07:35:16 pm »
Hi winter and welcome

Yes some have a good idea of when they acquired hep c and some will never know. It is rare but a few were infected at birth.

I am sure it is frustrating not knowing how you got this but the important thing is ending hep c as soon as you can. Know how you got hep c won't change where you are today.

Alot depends on the rules of your insurance company many will deny treatment unless you have F3 or F4 fibrosis scores F4 being cirrhosis. But some here with little or no liver damage have gotten treatment easily from their insurance.

As to who should appeal the answer is everyone appeal, appeal, appeal! Who does the appeal is normally your doctor so you might ask them how they have done appeals in the past but many of us have had to be our own advocate as well. First see if you get the easy way.

If approved it should be relatively fast say a week maybe. How you get the meds is likely either a local specialty pharmacy or you insurance may require you to receive meds through their specialty pharmacy as mine did via Fed Ex or UPS every month. Just do what they need you to do
Genotype 1a
1978 contracted, 1990 Dx
1995 Intron A failed
2001 Interferon Riba null response
2003 Pegintron Riba trial med null response
2008 F4 Cirrhosis Bx
2014 12 week Sov/Oly relapse
10/14 fibroscan 27 PLT 96
2014 24 weeks Harvoni 15 weeks Riba
5/4/15 EOT not detected, ALT 21, AST 20
4 week post not detected, ALT 26, AST 28
12 week post NOT DETECTED (07/27/15)
ALT 29, AST 27 PLT 92
24 week post NOT DETECTED! (10/19/15)
44 weeks (3/11/16)  fibroscan 33, PLT 111, HCV NOT DETECTED!

Offline winter

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  • Posts: 3
Re: To find out - How long ago HVC was contracted.
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2015, 09:29:15 pm »
Thank you Lynn very much for your reply! I really appreciate it!

Offline Mugwump

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  • My number of posts means nothing, piscor ergo sum!
Re: To find out - How long ago HVC was contracted.
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2015, 04:29:57 am »
If you did not use drugs and specifically share needles, it is very difficult to determine how long you have been infected. The progression of the virus is all over the map in terms of how long it takes to show symptoms and most who become infected do not show any symptoms at all for the first few years.

Please do not allow yourself to become concerned about how you became infected. There are many who still attach a stigma to this disease and that stigma is that it is a SIW or in the military terms a "self inflicted wound". The same way aids was and is still considered by some to be a self inflicted "gay plague".

It is important to be kind to yourself and especially those you love when discussing your infection and learning to deal with the fears of spreading this disease.

Part of the terrible truth about this disease is that it most likely originally spread because of the use of blood serum to inoculate against Asian tropical diseases during the Pacific war and then blood transfusions starting in about 1943.  Then increased in numbers infected as a result of military blood transfusions during the Korean and Vietnam wars. Then the numbers really increased because of the 60s-70 drug culture and much can be attributed to the unsafe use of vaccination guns.

So many who were infected all the way back to the 1950's might have been infected by vaccination guns, especially those who were in the military. Here is the low down on how bad the situation was http://www.hcvets.com/

Many fire fighters and emergency employees like the police were also vaccinated in this way and it is shocking how many people employed in emergency services in places like Chicago have contracted this disease. At first it was put down to having to deal with street people and being infected by them bleeding or needle sticks or whatever. So the stigma of dealing with indigents was blamed and is still believed by some. Even today when the real truth has started  to come out of the bag.

In Canada we used vaccination guns during the late 1950s and stopped soon after some people mysteriously died of some forms of hep.

I was vaccinated by gun injections when I was 6 years of age. But I also shared needles in the late 1960s so my bet is on being infected in 1969 not 1959 when I received a booster shot with a vaccination gun in a big line up of kids all in a row.

It is a waste of precious time thinking about how you were infected and can become completely counter productive.

There are still vocal politicians and bean counters who want to exclude from treatment those who were infected by past drug use, much to the shame of us as a society. So the stigma and myths attached to this disease are still here, especially in the US.


The process to get treated is a difficult one to get though and you need to be up to speed on the jargon and the pit falls that can happen while you wait for treatment.

Firstly much depends upon which genotype you are infected with and the is the first thing you should know and understand. Ask your doctor and write down the specifics you need to know because it is easy to become frustrated by the wait times for information.

Secondly you must understand that your current viral load level is not as important as your liver functions and level of liver damage. So regardless of your viral load don't let having a low viral load down in the hundred thousands encourage you to not aggressively seek treatment! As much as the insurance companies will tell you the opposite your current viral load is not the important indicator of the severity of the ongoing liver damage being done by HCV! Your viral load can spike overnight and then settle down to a lower base rate as your immune system deals with the virus. So over the years the virus replicates the most when your immune system is down for any reason.

If your regular doctor does not have experience dealing with treating HCV then it is far better if you see a doctor who does actively treat infectious disease and is up to date on the use of direct acting antiviral meds.

All the very best on this journey and I truly hope that you are cured long before the disease takes its toll on your liver the way it has for many of us.

Caution shameless self promotion below :-)


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