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Hepatitis C: Screening, Screening, Screening

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4 Comments

Lucinda Porter, RN

We don't have a universal system that does that, and doctors don't necessarily read the 100s of notices they get every day (they can barely keep up with patient load anymore) Also, some doctors misunderstand the recommendations and think you still need to have another risk factor besides birth year.

February 18, 2016

LindaZ

Thank you for your reply to my comment. When first diagnosed, my first concern was if I had transmitted this disease to my husband, children, grandchildren, sisters, etc. Thankfully, all were tested and all were negative. Like your friend, I plan to look at sofosbuvir/velpatasvir in July when it becomes available. If it wasn't for your blog, I would not have been aware of Gilead's newest Hepatitis C treatment for all genotypes. Thanks again for all the information you provide.

January 18, 2016

Lucinda K. Porter, RN

Hi, I think we are all different, and ultimately we listen to our doctors, consider the evidence, and decide for ourselves what is the best course of action. Having said that, I'd like to add some info for you to consider, which you may not have considered: 1) The new treatments are getting better and easier to tolerate, and in July we expect a treatment to be out that will cure pretty much all genotype 2 patients with minimal, if any side effects, 2) Treatment progression is not linear - it is progressive with age (because our immune function deteriorates as we get older. There are a lot of people like you who don't progress, but when they hit age 75-85, find themselves with substantial liver damage, Liver transplantation is not an option when you are that old, which means you are stuck with cirrhosis even if you treat the hep C. 3) Cirrhosis is not the only risk factor for hep C. Those who are hep C+ are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, Parkinson's, and nearly every other disease. The risk drops when cured. Hep C patients have a higher risk of lymphoma when they are not cirrhotic than when they are. 4) And finally, there is the risk of infectivity to others. Some of us find that the hardest part to live with, that a paramedic or nurse could have a fingerstick and be infected by us is a heavy burden I have a friend who is GT2 and 78 - he has no liver damage. Although he is willing to go on Sovaldi and ribavirin,he decided to see if he can get sofosbuvir/velpatasvir in July. All that aside, keep doing whatever you are doing - it sure is helping! Here is a link to Hep's info about aging with hep C; http://www.hepmag.com/articles/2958_21217.shtml

January 18, 2016

LindaZ

I am 72 years old and have never had a symptom of Hepatitis C. 7 months ago I had a preventive colonoscopy. Following this procedure, the doctor gave me an order for Hepatitis C blood testing because I had a blood transfusion in 1967. The testing was positive,genotype 2 and Level 1. Here's my dilemma....I have no symptoms and it has taken me nearly 50 years to get to Level 1 why should I pursue a cure which has some terrible side effects? These new guidelines for testing are for people in their 50's, 60's and 70's. I believe that the vast majority of people diagnosed with Hepatitis C are being tested and treated because they had symptoms not because of when they were born. Right now, I resent this diagnosis and have decided not pursue a cure but to moonitor the disease via blood testing.

January 18, 2016

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