Thursday, May 30, 2024

What’s The Cure For Hepatitis C

How Is Hepatitis C Transmitted

What Are The Early Signs Of Hepatitis?

Because HCV is primarily spread through contact with infected blood, people who inject drugs are at increased risk for HCV infection. HCV can also be transmitted from an infected mother to child at the time of birth, from unregulated tattoos or body piercings, and from sharing personal items that may be contaminated with infected blood, even in amounts too small to see. Much less often, HCV transmission occurs through sexual contact with an HCV-infected partner, especially among people with multiple sex partners and men who have sex with men. Currently in the United States, health care related transmission of HCV is rare, but people can become infected from accidental needle sticks and from breaches in infection control practices in health care facilities.

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We will be doing better, she said, adding that the previous officials in charge of treating hepatitis C had done the best with what they thought was good care.

Wasko said that though the new formal policy isnt quite finished, her department is already training medical staff on the new policy, and that they could begin prescribing the curative therapies to incarcerated people in the next week to ten days.

Initially, South Dakota will prioritize people for treatment based on a liver metric known as APRI. Wasko told STAT her goal is to have all patients in the first priority group, an estimated 200 individuals, into treatment within ninety days.

Protease Inhibitor Antiviral Medications

Protease inhibitors work by preventing the spread of infection within the body by stopping viruses from multiplying.

Grazoprevir is a protease inhibitor for hepatitis C genotypes 1 and 4. Its only available in combination with elbasvir and sold as grazoprevir/elbasvir.

The drug combination is sold under the brand name Zepatier.

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How Long Can Hep C Lay Dormant

Millions of people who are infected do not. Although she has been carrying the virus in her blood for 40 years, she is only now beginning to notice symptoms, including headache, fatigue, and joint pain. That delay between infection and onset is typical of hepatitis C, which can lie dormant in the body for decades.

Who Should Get Tested

Hepatitis C Treatment Chart

You should consider getting tested for hepatitis C if youâre worried you could have been infected or you fall into one of the groups at an increased risk of being infected.

  • Hepatitis C often has no symptoms, so you may still be infected if you feel healthy.
  • The following groups of people are at an increased risk of hepatitis C:
  • ex-drug users and current drug users, particularly users of injected drugs
  • people who received blood transfusions before September 1991
  • recipients of organ or tissue transplants before 1992
  • people who have lived or had medical treatment in an area where hepatitis C is common high risk areas include North Africa, the Middle East and Central and East Asia
  • babies and children whose mothers have hepatitis C
  • anyone accidentally exposed to the virus, such as health workers
  • people who have received a tattoo or piercing where equipment may not have been properly sterilised
  • sexual partners of people with hepatitis C

If you continue to engage in high-risk activities, such as injecting drugs frequently, regular testing may be recommended. Your doctor will be able to advise you about this.

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Symptoms Of Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C often doesnt have any noticeable symptoms until the liver has been significantly damaged. This means many people have the infection without realising it.

When symptoms do occur, they can be mistaken for another condition. Symptoms can include:

  • flu-like symptoms, such as muscle aches and a high temperature
  • feeling tired all the time
  • loss of appetite

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Recent Increases In Hepatitis C Infections

Between 2013 and 2020, the reported number of acute HCV infections more than doubled. High rates of new infections were predominantly among young adults aged 20-29 years and aged 30-39 years. The number of cases continues to increase, in 2020 an estimated 66,700 new HCV infections occurred in the United States. For the most recent surveillance data visit CDC Viral Hepatitis Surveillance.

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How Can I Best Prepare For Treatment

There are a number of things you can do to improve your health and increase your chances of being able to take your medications as prescribed:

  • Avoid alcohol and drugs. If you cannot quit, seek help.
  • Talk to your doctor about getting the Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B vaccines.
  • Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep every night and rest when tired.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Eat healthy meals: Strive for a diet low in fat and high in fiber. Include fruit, vegetables, and whole grains. Avoid trans fatty acids and saturated fats.
  • Avoid dietary supplements that may harm the liver, such as iron or vitamin A, kava, and valerian. Take only the medications recommended by your doctor.
  • Drink 6-8 glasses of water per day.
  • Exercise: Be as physically active as possible on a regular basis, balancing rest and activity.
  • Avoid or reduce stress. Some people find meditation, prayer, or simply a quiet walk to be helpful.
  • Engage in activities that give you pleasure and make you laugh.
  • Discuss your feelings with family and close friends.
  • Join a Hepatitis C support group.

In addition, its important to become an effective healthcare consumer and advocate for yourself. You can do this by:

  • Learning all you can about your disease and its treatment. Seek information from Hepatitis C related organizations.
  • Getting all your medical and insurance information organized in one place. This should include:
  • Recent test results
  • Emergency contact numbers

How Common Is Hepatitis C In The United States

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In the United States, hepatitis C is the most common chronic viral infection found in blood and spread through contact with blood.14

Researchers estimate that about 2.7 million to 3.9 million people in the United States have chronic hepatitis C.13 Many people who have hepatitis C dont have symptoms and dont know they have this infection.

Since 2006, the number of new hepatitis C infections has been rising, especially among people younger than age 30 who inject heroin or misuse prescription opioids and inject them.15,16

New screening efforts and more effective hepatitis C treatments are helping doctors identify and cure more people with the disease. With more screening and treatment, hepatitis C may become less common in the future. Researchers estimate that hepatitis C could be a rare disease in the United States by 2036.17

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Can Hepatitis C Be Prevented

There is no vaccine against hepatitis C. The only way to prevent infection is to avoid contact with infected blood.

Hepatitis C cannot be spread by coughing, sneezing or sharing eating utensils. People should not be kept away from school, work, or other social settings because they have hepatitis C.

Here are some precautions that may prevent the spread of hepatitis C:

  • Do not share personal care items, such as toothbrushes or razors, with others.
  • Practice safe sex by using condoms.
  • Dont share needles or syringes.
  • Wear gloves when handling another persons blood.
  • Use sterile equipment for body piercings or tattoos.
  • If you are a healthcare worker, follow recommended safety measures.

People who are at greater risk for contracting hepatitis C should have their blood tested. The Centers for Disease Control recommends that Americans born between 1945 and 1965 be screened at least once for the disease.

Cost Of Hepatitis C Medicines

The newer direct-acting antiviral medicines for hepatitis C can be costly. Most government and private health insurance prescription drug plans provide some coverage for these medicines. Talk with your doctor about your health insurance coverage for hepatitis C medicines.

Drug companies, nonprofit organizations, and some states offer programs that can help pay for hepatitis C medicines. If you need help paying for medicines, talk with your doctor. Learn more about financial help for hepatitis C medicines.

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What Is The Prognosis For Someone Who Has Hepatitis C

You can continue to lead an active life even if you are diagnosed with hepatitis C. People with the disease can work and continue their regular daily activities. However, it is very important that you see a specialist as soon as you are diagnosed with hepatitis C. There are many treatments available that can cure the virus.

To maintain a healthy lifestyle, patients should:

Should I Be Screened For Hepatitis C

Hep C Cure

Doctors usually recommend one-time screening of all adults ages 18 to 79 for hepatitis C. Screening is testing for a disease in people who have no symptoms. Doctors use blood tests to screen for hepatitis C. Many people who have hepatitis C dont have symptoms and dont know they have hepatitis C. Screening tests can help doctors diagnose and treat hepatitis C before it causes serious health problems.

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Hepatitis C Treatment And Herbs

Unlike conventional medical treatments, most herbal therapies have not undergone rigorous scientific study. Fortunately, a greater effort is being made to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of various types of dietary supplements, including herbs, through the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health formerly called the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine a center of the National Institutes of Health .

So while some products may be safe others may actually pose significant risks for example, by producing serious side effects or interacting badly with your Hepatitis C medication. Because herbs can interfere with the action of Hepatitis C medications, its important to tell your doctor about everything youre taking before starting treatment for Hepatitis C. And while getting treated, its important not to take any new herbs or supplements before consulting with your healthcare provider. For example, you should NOT take St. Johns wort , or a product that contains St. Johns wort, with several of the medications used to treat Hepatitis C, including Olysio, Sovaldi, Harvoni, and Daklinza.

CERTAIN HERBS ASSOCIATED WITH LIVER DAMAGE

Its also important to be aware that several common herbs can cause liver damage, especially in people with an existing liver disease such as Hepatitis C. These include:

Additionally, the following groups of people should avoid the use of herbs in general unless ordered by their medical provider:

Eliminating Viral Hepatitis C Is In Sight Now Lets Leave No One Behind

Sometimes it takes a stark reminder of the devastating impact an illness can have to show us just how important it is to diagnose, treat and if possible cure those affected. This is exactly the case with hepatitis C virus

In the 1970s and 1980s, over 4,000 people with haemophilia and other bleeding disorders were infected with HIV or HCV as part of contaminated blood transfusions. Many sadly passed away as a result and their story and fight for justice continues to shock people around the UK today.

The media attention around this story has served to highlight the injustice faced by those affected. But it has also had another impact: to remind us of the very real danger of HCV, and why it is vital that we continue to strive to eliminate this virus leaving no one behind.

What is HCV?HCV is a virus. It infects the liver and, if left untreated, can cause serious and life-threatening damage, including cirrhosis and even liver cancer1. In many cases, there are few symptoms in its early stages, meaning a person may go undiagnosed for years.

Contracting HCV is typically the result of contact with infected blood. This is commonly through sharing contaminated needles. However, it is far from the only route. Today, HCV poses a real health concern, which is felt by some of the most marginalised people in society: people who inject drugs migrants prisoners people who are homeless or communities in which HCV is stigmatised, such as amongst first-generation South Asians.

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How Is Hepatitis C Infection Prevented

Unfortunately, there is no vaccine to prevent hepatitis C. To reduce your risk of getting hepatitis C:

  • Injection drug use is the most common way people get hepatitis C. Avoid injecting drugs to reduce your risk. If you do inject drugs, use sterile injection equipment. Avoid reusing or sharing.
  • Avoid sharing personal care items that might have blood on them
  • If you are a health care or public safety worker, follow universal blood/body fluid precautions and safely handle needles and other sharps
  • Consider the risks if you are thinking about tattooing, body piercing, or acupuncture are the instruments properly sterilized?
  • If youre having sex with more than one partner, use latex condoms correctly and every time to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, including hepatitis C.

Integration Is Essential In Providing Patient

FibroScan Measures Liver Disease

Program integration is the bedrock of Nasarawas journey to HCV elimination. The Nasarawa State Elimination program is employing a model that ensures easy access by communities in need. These include:

  • Timely testing to ensure patients know their status and are initiated on treatment as soon as possible.
  • Integrating HCV testing on seven out of 19 GeneXpert devices used for tuberculosis testing in the state.
  • Leveraging existing tuberculosis sample transportation networks to ensure that patients do not have to travel or wait for long turnaround times to know their status.
  • Implementing multi-month dispensing to minimize loss-to-follow-up meaning that all patients are successfully linked to care and complete their treatment doses while minimizing multiple facility visits.

A patient recently commented that when I tested positive for hepatitis, I was worried because I could not afford the treatment. Thanks to the Nasarawa state government for providing free hepatitis services.

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Other Side Effects Of Ribavirin

Other side effects of ribavirin may include:

  • nausea and vomiting

All DAAs are oral drugs that you swallow. Follow your doctors or pharmacists instructions on how to take these medications. They can also tell you what side effects are possible and symptoms of any serious side effects to look out for.

How Often Are Major Blood

  • Contributed equally to this work with: Fang Duan, Qiang Huang

    Affiliation State Key Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China

  • Contributed equally to this work with: Fang Duan, Qiang Huang

    Affiliation State Key Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China

  • Affiliation State Key Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China

  • Affiliation State Key Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China

  • Affiliation State Key Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China

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Am I Eligible For Treatment

In the past, when treatment for Hepatitis C basically consisted of interferon and ribavirin, side effects precluded many patients from being eligible. However, with the current availability of interferon-free treatment regimens, many of these people can now receive treatment for their Hepatitis C infection.

Some things your Hepatitis C provider will want to know when discussing your eligibility for treatment, as well as deciding which treatment regimen is best for you, include the following:

  • What medications do you currently take? Some medicines interact with Hepatitis C medications, which can affect the level of either one meaning that the level of the Hepatitis C medicine or your other medicine may become too high or too low. There can be risks of toxicity if too high, or the medication may be less effective if too low. If available, your Hepatitis C provider will select a treatment option with no interactions. If not available, he or she can talk to your other healthcare providers about the possibility of changing your current medicines before Hepatitis C treatment begins. As an example, people taking amiodarone should not take Sovaldi or Harvoni due to serious risks of a slow heart rate deaths have been reported. People taking amiodarone would need to take some other Hepatitis C treatment.
  • Are you pregnant? Antiviral medications may not be recommended if you are pregnant, because these medications can cause birth defects in babies.

Pregnancy And Hepatitis C

What is the best cure and treatment out there for Hepatitis C?

The new hepatitis C medicines have not been tested in pregnancy.

You should not become pregnant while taking treatment as it could be harmful to unborn babies.

If you’re pregnant, you must delay treatment until after your baby is born.

Speak to your doctor before starting hepatitis C treatment if you’re planning to become pregnant in the near future.

You’ll need to wait several weeks after treatment has ended before trying to get pregnant.

Women taking ribavirin should use contraception during treatment and for another 4 months after the end of treatment.

If you become pregnant during treatment, speak to your doctor as soon as possible to discuss your treatment options.

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What Will My Doctor Need To Know To Treat Me

If you want to be assessed for treatment, you need to make an appointment with a doctor. They will be mostly interested in the condition of your liver. Your doctor will organise, if possible, for you to have a Fibroscan examination. If Fibroscan is not available, your doctor will probably use an APRI test. This is an online calculator that estimates the health of your liver. It involves a blood test called a liver function test.

Dont forget, its very important to get a PCR test 12 weeks after finishing treatment this will mean the doctor can make sure you are cured.

How Can I Cover Medication Costs

New therapies called direct-acting antivirals are effective and can achieve cures of over 90%. Because these new therapies are very new, they remain very expensive. As such, drug coverage from both government and private companies may require that your liver disease has progressed to a certain stage before they are willing to cover the cost of these drugs.

Talk with your healthcare provider about financial support that may be available.

Below are useful resources when looking for financial assistance:Private health insurance or drug plansIf you have private health insurance or a drug plan at work, you may be able to have the medication paid through your plan. Please consult your private health insurance or drug plan provider to see if your drug is covered.

Publicly funded plansEach provincial and territorial government offers a drug benefit plan for eligible groups. Some are income-based universal programs. Most have specific programs for population groups that may require more enhanced coverage for high drug costs. These groups include seniors, recipients of social assistance, and individuals with diseases or conditions that are associated with high drug costs. For more details, please contact your provincial or territorial health care ministry, or click on the appropriate link below.

Yukon

Available Patient Assistance Programs for Hepatitis C treatment Holkira Pak Maviret

MerckCare Hepatitis C Program 1 872-5773 Zepatier

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