The Benefits Of Regular Care
Bear in mind that compared to HIV-negative people, many HIV-positive people in Canada and similar countries are under a relatively high degree of medical scrutinythey undergo visits to the clinic for interviews and laboratory tests several times each year. This degree of heightened medical surveillance is likely to detect any complications early on, before they can become serious. This is yet another factor that may help extend the lifespan of HIV-positive people.
In the next article, we explore trends in survival among HIV-positive people in countries with health care systems similar to Canada and issues that can be addressed to help prolong survival.
Sean R. Hosein
Samji H, Cescon A, Hogg RS, et al. Closing the Gap: Increases in life expectancy among treated HIV-positive individuals in the United States and Canada. PLoS One. 2013 Dec 18 8:e81355.
If You Have Hepatitis C Should You Get A Flu Shot
Yes. Having chronic hepatitis C is actually a good reason to get the flu shot. Chronic hepatitis C is a condition that can increase your risk of complications if you do get influenza. That’s why it is recommended for people with hepatitis C, and most chronic liver diseases, to be vaccinated against the flu.
To stay up to date with your influenza vaccinations, you need to be vaccinated every year–ideally, early in the flu season or as soon as the vaccine becomes available. Typically, flu season is considered to be October to March. It’s best to get vaccinated annually because the vaccine is designed differently each year to target the strains of influenza that are expected to circulate during that particular flu season.
How Likely Am I To Become Infected With Hepatitis C From A Family Member Living In The Same House
Household transmission of hepatitis C is extremely rare. Fewer than 1 in 1,000 family members or close acquaintances becomes infected each year through common, nonsexual contact with hepatitis C-infected persons.
There are many possible ways by which hepatitis C could be passed from one person to another. Because the virus is carried in the blood, it could be transmitted between household members if a mucous membrane were to come in contact with blood or body fluids containing hepatitis C. Family members sometimes share razors, toothbrushes, or toothpicks, perhaps unknowingly. If an item were contaminated with hepatitis C-infected blood from one person, the virus could be passed to a second person if it were to tear the lining of the mouth or break through the skin.
Although these sorts of possibilities are often discussed as potential ways for hepatitis C to infect family members, such events occur very rarely.
If you aren’t sure of your hepatitis C status, get tested. If you test negative and have lived in a household with an infected family member or close acquaintance, you shouldn’t worry that any more contact will put you at risk.
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I Always Feel Tired Is It Normal
Tiredness is one of the most common symptoms of hepatitis. Its intensity does not depend on age, nor the activity of the virus, nor the severity of the lesions of the liver. Our fatigue is not linked to an effort or a change in our pace of life. It is often cyclical and does not disappear after rest . We may feel exhausted as soon as we wake up, or have a lot of tiredness during the day for no reason. Some days, fatigue is permanent. We also have a lot more trouble recovering from our daily activities. Work is underway to determine the biological mechanisms that explain the link between fatigue and the presence of the hepatitis C virus .
Other Risks Can Include:
- Sharing personal care items that may have come in contact with another persons blood, such as razors, toothbrushes or nail clippers
- Inoculation practices involving multiple use needles or immunization air guns
- Exposure of broken skin to HCV infected blood
- HIV infected persons
People with current or past risk behaviors should consider HCV testing and consult with a physician. HCV testing is currently not available at most public health clinics in Missouri. For information about HCV testing that is available, call the HCV Program Coordinator at 573-751-6439.
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Life Expectancy The Numbers
Based on its analysis, the research team predicted that the average life expectancy of a 20-year-old person in the U.S. or Canada who began ART shortly after he or she became HIV positive should be around 70. However, this is just an average figure, and some groups will have shorter or longer life expectancy. Below are the estimated life expectancies of a 20-year-old person in different groups in 2009, starting with HIV-negative people for comparison. At the end of the figures we provide possible explanations for these results:
- HIV-negative men in Canada 80 years
- HIV-negative men in the U.S. 77 years
- HIV-negative women in Canada 84 years
- HIV-negative women in the U.S. 82 years
CD4+ count when ART was initiated
- less than 350 cells 59 years
- 350 or more cells 75 years
These life expectancies should be compared to the time before ART became available when, on average, HIV-positive people in high-income countries lived for between 10 and 12 years after diagnosis.
What Should I Know About Post
Its a good idea to avoid drugs containing high doses of acetaminophen if you have more extensive fibrosis. Excessive amounts of acetaminophen are known to cause severe liver damage since your liver is already compromised, theres no reason to raise your risk higher.
Also make sure to let any new doctors know about your prior HCV infection, including those at urgent care facilities or the emergency room, so they can choose drugs that dont add a toxic burden to your liver, Dr. Terrault says.
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How Do You Get Hepatitis C
The hepatitis C virus is usually spread through blood-to-blood contact.
Some ways the infection can be spread include:
- sharing unsterilised needles particularly needles used to inject recreational drugs
- sharing razors or toothbrushes
- from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby
- through unprotected sex although this is very rare
In the UK, most hepatitis C infections happen in people who inject drugs or have injected them in the past.
It’s estimated around half of those who inject drugs have the infection.
How Can I Make A Difference For People With Hepatitis C
Anyone can help raise awareness about this widespread disease. Citizens can write letters to their state representatives or local newspapers and get involved in volunteer efforts with liver disease or Veteran-affiliated organizations . Speaking at support groups and sharing your experience is also a good way to help others with HCV.
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Stages Of Liver Damage
The hepatitis C virus attacks your liver. Your immune system releases inflammatory substances in response. These substances stimulate your liver to produce fibrous proteins, like collagen to repair the damage. Collagen and other proteins can build up within the liver. This creates scar tissue.
A buildup of scar tissue in your liver is called fibrosis. It can prevent blood from flowing to your liver cells and change the function of your liver. Over time, the liver cells die and the liver no longer functions normally.
The METAVIR score is one method used to measure fibrosis in people with hepatitis C. Scoring is divided into five stages:
- stage 0: no fibrosis
Eat Regular Nutritious Meals
Sometimes people with hepatitis C have a hard time eating. You may have no appetite, feel nauseated, or have different tastes than you are used to. Even if you don’t feel like eating, it’s very important to eat small meals throughout the day. Some people have nausea in the afternoon. If this happens to you, try to eat a big, nutritious meal in the morning.
If you have cirrhosis, it may not be a good idea to eat salty foods or foods that are high in protein. If you want to know more about which foods to avoid and which foods are good to eat, ask your doctor about meeting with a registered dietitian to discuss a healthy eating plan.
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Tiredness And Lack Of Vitamines
Asthenia can be linked to another cause than hepatitis: diabetes, hypothyroidism, vitamin or trace element deficiencies, excessive consumption of alcohol, insufficient or unbalanced diet. The doctor may recommend tests to check that your fatigue is not the consequence of any of these problems. Warning: do not take supplements or vitamins without medical advice some of these over-the-counter products may be toxic to the liver.
Can Hepatitis B Be Prevented Or Avoided
The best way to prevent hepatitis B is to always have protected sex and, if you use intravenous drugs, avoid sharing needles.
A vaccine is available to prevent hepatitis B. It is now routinely given in the first year of life to all newborn infants. It is safe and requires 3 shots over a 6-month period. This vaccine should be given to people who are at high risk for this illness, such as healthcare workers, all children, people who travel to areas where the infection is widespread, drug users, and those who have multiple sex partners.
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Identifying The Early Signs Of Hepatitis
Once you discover that you have hepatitis, you must take immediate steps to stop the disease from spreading. If you have recently developed hepatitis, there are treatment options available. However, time is the single most important aspect of this disease because if you wait too long you might develop liver complications. If you find out that you have a type of hepatitis that has progressed to the chronic stage, you must learn how to manage your condition.
You might inadvertently be doing activities that worsen the effects of hepatitis. For instance, people with this ailment should avoid alcohol as it can damage the liver and make it harder for his body to resist infection.
A poor diet can also exacerbate hepatitis.
- Dark urine
A lot of people with acute hepatitis C express no symptoms and will go on to develop chronic hepatitis C. In a few cases, an infection can last 15 years or even more without being diagnosed.
How Can I Prevent Passing Hcv On To Others
HCV infection is usually spread by blood-to-blood contact with someone who has a current HCV infection. There is a very low risk of spreading the virus through other body fluids, such as semen or vaginal fluids. This is more likely if blood is present in those fluids.
If you are living with HCV infection, you can reduce the chance of passing the virus to others by doing the following:
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How Can I Protect Myself And Others From Hepatitis C
Know what is safe!
Hepatitis C is NOT passed by things like food, drinking water, dishes, clothes, hugs, kisses, coughs, toilet seats, or swimming pools.
Know how hepatitis C is passed
Hepatitis C is passed when the blood of a person with hepatitis C gets into another persons bloodstream. This is called blood-to-blood contact.
Blood-to-blood contact can happen even when the amount of blood is so small you cannot see it.
To prevent blood-to-blood contact, take the following steps:
- If you take street drugs, use new equipment every time, such as needles, water, spoons, cookers, crack pipes, or straws.
- Before you get a piercing or a tattoo, ask if the ink and equipment are new. If the equipment is used, ask if it has been sterilized.
- Use only your own personal items, such as razors, toothbrushes and nail clippers.
Hepatitis C can be passed through unsterilized medical or dental equipment. But it is rare for unsterilized medical or dental equipment to be used in Canada.
You can be re-infected with hepatitis C after you are cured of hepatitis C .
Can hepatitis C be passed through sex?
Sexual transmission of hepatitis C is not common. Transmission through heterosexual sex is very rare and transmission through condomless anal sex between men is rare. The risk increases when certain factors are present, such as HIV, sexually transmitted infections, sex where blood is present and chemsex.
Im Cured A Story About Overcoming Hepatitis C In Argentina
For World Hepatitis Day, Diego Villoldo relates how he overcame the hepatitis infection. A journey from despondent resignation to a new lease of life.
Buenos Aires, July 2019 Im cured, said Diego Villoldo with a big smile after getting the results of his treatment for hepatitis C, which he received at a hospital in the city of Buenos Aires. Diagnosed in 2007, it had been a long and at times rocky road, but within three months the new revolutionary treatment allowed him to look toward a bright new future now devoted to his interest in music.
I am a luthier. I make string instruments, so I have always been connected with music through my work, but I started to think more seriously about what I want to do. I knew that I wanted to play music, so thats what Im doing, said Diego, who works in a shop in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of San Telmo.
Today, he says that he has always looked forward in life, but a few years ago all that changed dramatically when recieved his diagnosis. When I found out that I had hepatitis C, I started drinking and resigned myself to live the however many days of life I had left, but a year later I had an accident where I fell from the second floor and was in intensive care for 11 days. I left hospital with a new lease of life knowing that I had gotten a second chance, he recalls.
When I found out that I had hepatitis C, I started drinking and resigned myself to live however many days of life I had left.
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Get Educated About Hepatitis
A chronic condition can be difficult to fathom at first. But Rashmi Gulati, MD, medical director of Patients Medical in New York, says the facts about hepatitis are encouraging more than 99 percent of people with hepatitis C now survive, thanks to breakthroughs in lifestyle choices and antiviral treatments.
Considering this, its critical for patients with chronic hepatitis to be educated about their condition, says Amy Wood, PsyD, a psychologist who regularly counsels people with chronic hepatitis and the author of Life Your Way: Refresh Your Approach to Success and Breathe Easier in a Fast-Paced World.
New discoveries are made all the time, especially in the Internet age when researchers from every part of the globe are able to collaborate, so its important to keep up with whats happening, she says. In particular, stay informed about the latest treatment strategies and hepatitis diet recommendations. This can help you take new steps to manage your hepatitis symptoms when new treatments become available.
Lifestyle Steps To Get The Support You Need
If you are one of the 3.2 million Americans with chronic hepatitis C or up to 1.4 million Americans with chronic hepatitis B , you likely have concerns about your health. What is hepatitis? What are the symptoms? What should you eat as part of a healthy diet if you have hepatitis? These are probably just a few of the many questions you have asked your doctor.
One often overlooked component of chronic hepatitis is the emotional aspect of the disease. Finding support is important when it comes to coping with a chronic condition. Here are lifestyle steps that can help you get the support you need to live well with hepatitis.
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Baby Boomers Are Especially Vulnerable
“The hepatitis C virus didn’t have a name or a screening test until in 1989,” Reau says. “That means people born between 1945 and 1965, the group referred to as ‘baby boomers,’ are at highest risk of infection. They grew up before health care facilities started taking standard precautions, like not sharing vials of medicine among patients and requiring staff to wear gloves.”
The CDC reports that baby boomers are five times more likely to have Hepatitis C than other adults, accounting for 75% of those living with the disease.
These are some other reasons you may be at risk:
- You have engaged in high-risk behaviors like IV drug use or unprotected sex
- Your biological mother has/had hepatitis C
- You received blood transfusions, an organ transplant or dialysis before 1989
- You were or are currently incarcerated
Can I Get Reinfected With Hepatitis C
If you become infected with hepatitis C infection and then clear the virus , yes, it is possible for you to become infected again.
The chance of another infection with hepatitis C is much, much less than the chance of a first-time infection, but it is not impossible. It has happened in people who continue to use injection drugs, and some studies suggest that it happens even more often in people who are also HIV positive.
In other words, having had hepatitis C once does not make you “immune” to getting hepatitis C again.
The best way to avoid reinfection is to reduce risky behaviors that can result in exposure to the hepatitis C virus: Do not use injection drugs, do not share needles for any reason, avoid blood-to-blood exposures with others, and use condoms if you are sexually active with a new partner or with a partner who has used injection drugs.
The research in this area is ongoing, and we will continue to learn more about this very important topic. But for now, preventing re-exposure to the hepatitis C virus is the only sure way of avoiding infection and reinfection with hepatitis C.
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