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Author Topic: Protecting Others  (Read 8820 times)

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Offline judith

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 1
Protecting Others
« on: January 30, 2016, 10:36:22 pm »
I'm new, just diagnosed this week after my first Hep C test, confirmed by the RNA test with a viral load of 4 million. Don't know my genotype but seeing liver doctor's nurse next week to get the ball rolling.

Still in shock. I have no symptoms, never did needle drugs, never had a transfusion or even a tattoo, but at 59 was born between 1949 and 1965, hence the screening per CDC guidelines. I suppose it could have been sexually transmitted, but I was monogamous most of my life and always used condoms when I wasn't.

I read the advice not to focus on how you got it, but then how do you know how long you've had it, whom you might have exposed and how to protect others (besides not sharing toothbrushes or razors)? I'm in the process of telling former lovers, but what do I tell future ones? Could my children have caught it from me? I already dealt with weird reactions after getting genital melanoma last year, so I'm not looking forward to more of that, but I don't want to isolate either. So far my friends and family have been shocked but sympathetic.

Thanks in advance.

Offline sapphire101

  • Member
  • Posts: 238
  • "Stop worrying and start living"
Re: Protecting Others
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2016, 11:06:57 pm »
Hi Judith and welcome. You are in the right place for support and education.
There are many other forum members much more well versed in the details of HCV than I am, but I can tell you that the odds of you infecting anyone else- lovers and family are very very low.
I wish I could help you stop worrying!

Good news is that there is a cure now and once you get your genotype you can start the process towards being virus free. Before you know it this will all be in the past.

best wishes and stay in touch
Genotype 1a Fibrosis level 1
Viekira Pak with ribavirin 12 weeks
Pre treatment  VL  1.7 million, AST 45 ALT 65
EOT VL not detected, AST 21 ALT 21
12 week SVR not detected,24 week SVR not detected.
Cured! Class of 2015

Offline KimInTheForest

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,972
  • Believe in yourself
Re: Protecting Others
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2016, 12:55:21 am »
Ditto what Sapphire said, Judith. And welcome to the forums! This is a very supportive and helpful community. I agree with sapphire that the likelihood of you having transmitted it to others is extremely low. So I would not worry about that too much. And besides... we now have a cure. A few weeks of pills and it's gone. The wrestling match with the insurance company is harder than getting rid of the virus these days.

good luck and do keep us posted on your progress,
kim :)
Kim Goldberg (Nanaimo, BC)
1970s: Contracted HCV (genotype 3a)
2015: Cured with Harvoni + ribavirin (12 weeks)
MY STORY: https://pigsquash.wordpress.com/2016/01/28/undetectable-my-hep-c-story/

Offline gnatcatcher

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,372
Re: Protecting Others
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2016, 09:37:40 am »
Welcome, Judith. You sound like a very responsible person who has already read up on HCV. Sapphire and Kim have mentioned the excellent cure rate of current medicines and the extremely low odds that you transmitted it to anyone else; I'll focus on a couple of things:
1) There are quite a few mothers on these forums who unknowingly had HCV before and during pregnancy, yet their children are fine, even after years of living with a parent who has HCV. In 5%-6% of cases that is not the true, but when your children get tested, there's a >=94% chance that the news will be good.
2) The "duty to inform" is very different with HCV than with HIV. Because HIV is spread through sexual contact, telling all sexual partners is essential. Because HCV is spread by blood-to-blood contact -- as our RN moderator Lucinda Porter puts it, your sexual partner's "risk of contracting hep C from you is pretty much zero (unless you were having sex with knives and chainsaws, then all bets are off)." The fact that you always used condoms except when in a long-term monogamous relationship means that you're not obligated to inform the partners where condoms were always used.
   So, when you tell people about HCV, you can do so as an educator. The most conservative current estimate is that over 3 million Americans have HCV, the vast majority of whom don't know it. You yourself were among that vast majority until very recently. The very fact that you know you didn't get it from needle drugs or tattoos puts you in a position to educate without having to deal with shame (except from those ignoramuses who see cooties everywhere).
   I'm glad you have sympathetic friends and family. I look forward to reading about your treatment and cure.

9/29/71 transfusions
HCV genotype 1a
7/09/15-9/30/15 Harvoni

Before treatment:
Viral Load 9,490,582
FibroScan 19.5 kPa [F4]
ALT 262
AST 217
ALP 183

Most recent:
FibroScan 7.6 kPa [F1-2]
ALT 15
AST 20
ALP 85

Offline Mike

  • Member
  • Posts: 999
Re: Protecting Others
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2016, 07:07:58 pm »
Hi Judith,

HCV is transmitted through blood-to-blood contact. This means it's pretty hard to transmit through sexually contact, mother to infant and so on.

While it is true that it is not important to know how a person exactly contradicted the virus, not knowing how one was infected can drive folks nuts.

Before universal precautions were the gold standard, HCV may have been contracted during a dental visit, medical procedure, vaccination, ear piercing  and so forth.

The important thing to know is that it can now be cured in as short as 8 weeks, with medications that are well tolerated. This wasn't always the case, and a few short years ago, treatment could last 48-60 weeks of grueling injections and pills. Those days are history and the golden age of treatment is here!

Take comfort in that news!

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

Offline Scoutdoy

  • Member
  • Posts: 452
Re: Protecting Others
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2016, 11:42:27 pm »
Hi Judith, I was one of those mothers who did not know that I had hepatitis during 2 pregnancies and a marriage. Neither of my children have hepatitis and my husband also tested negative. I have had hep c for 30 years, through getting a tattoo before hep was even known. Don't beat yourself up over how you got it. You could have shared a razor in the 70's or something like that. I know it's difficult, but at least now there are cures. Most people on this forum, like myself, got this dreaded disease with no light at the end of the tunnel as far as cures....that my friend is tough when your looking at two babies sitting in your lap! Go to your doctor, get the medicine, and get cured. Your gonna be ok

Genotype 1a
infected 1987-tatoo/military?
Diagnosed 2007
Biopsy F-0
vl 13,900,000
AST 23
ALT 19
Harvoni Treatment 7/27/2015
4 week lab --<12 negative...AST 23 ALT 15
6 week lab -- Undetected.....AST 17 ALT 10
8 week lab---undetected.......AST15 Alt 10
12 week lab---UNDETECTED....AST 15 ALT 9
12 week EOT--1/13/2016----UNDETECTED!
24 week EOT ----UNDETECTED  --AST 18 ALT 12

Offline Lynn K

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 4,544
  • Get tested, get treated, get cured, fight Hep c!
Re: Protecting Others
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2016, 03:19:34 am »
Hi Judith and welcome,
Many have no idea when they contracted hep c you are not alone in that by any means. But as others have said the likelihood of transmission to family members or sexual partners is very low. Hep c is not considered to be an STD although it is suspected in some rare occasions.

Some of us can point to circumstances where they likely caught hep c as I can. I got a tattoo back in 1977 and I was a wild young person back then and did the thing most likely to transmit hep c on a mere 3 occasions in 1978 but likely that was where I got hep c.

But none of that matters all that matters it getting treated and getting cured of hep c so you can put hep c in your rear view mirror.

Best of luck to you

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!


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