HEPATITIS C VIRUS Blog by CinDragonFounder of ClubMysticIBIC
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H.R.3974 Viral Hepatitis and Liver Cancer Control and Prevention Act of 2009 (Introduced in House) http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.3974: copy and paste link into Your browser...

 

BOTOX Application has Become a Cause of Hepatitis and HIV. Mass Public Testing Needed



Quote: "We're not talking about 40,000 or 50,000 people. We're talking about hundreds of thousands of injections" BOTOX vials come with enough product to treat 2 to 5 people or more, however the vial is only sterile for ONE use. The problem stems from the fact that medical professionals administering the drug cannot charge as much as the vial cost them. The result is that they feel forced to contaminate the vial to treat the next person in line for a dose. The risk for Hep C, Hep B and HIV is massive.

How BOTOX application facilities adjust:

Action: Take up to five syringes, pull one treatment into each syringe and treat multiple people from one vial.

Problem
: This is an illegal practice. This is not a controlled or approved medical practice and mistakes can easily be made.

Action: One syringe is used to draw from the same vial more than once on one patient. The contents of that vial are now fully contaminated. The next patient comes in. A new needle is used to draw from the contaminated vial. This has become almost a common malpractice among medical facilities (source: 
http://67.228.183.132/~hardtime/HONOR/occurrences.html)

Problem: The danger not easily seen is because a new syringe is being used yet the VIAL is contaminated.

Action: The same syringe is used on each patient.

Problem: The syringe is contaminated the moment it is used the first time.

The most proactive action you, as the consumer or patient, can do is to insist on seeing the syringe removed from its packaging and also to insist to see the seal broken on the vial…any vial.

Here, again is the link to the article this blog was born from: 
http://www.lvrj.com/news/botox-lawsuit-raises-issues-on-injections-64690212.html

What you will further read in this article is that there has been a federal lawsuit filed in California. It is accused that the sales people for the makers of BOTOX routinely urge medical professionals to make the single use vial a multi-use vial. This accusation is widely supported by application facilities.

We will be monitoring the outcome. In the interim the call for infectious testing stands. Do not wait to be tested.

Why is this practice such a massive issue to the greater public health? Because the largest ways the HCV, HBV and HIV blood born viruses are passed along is through multiple syringe use and through infected blood products. We have both being discussed here (contaminated vial and used syringe possibilities)

Three tests (HCV, HBV, HIV) for infection are needed due to this malpractice by Medical professionals. Why is the risk higher for HCV than for HIV or HBV? Here are some reasons:

**Because in one drop of blood you may find 5 particles of the HIVirus while in one drop of HCV infected blood you can find upwards past 100,000 (one hundred thousand) particles of this virus. Yale is just one confirming source: 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNLVp1tVECM

**As well the HCV virus is very determined in its bid to infect human cells. Same source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNLVp1tVECM

**HCV has no symptoms. 80% of the time the victim does not know they have become infected (for up to 20 years), therefore does not know not they are infecting others. People from ALL walks of life have Hep C and do not know it.

**60% (3 million people) have Hep C and do not know they carry the virus in the US

**People infected with HCV outnumber people infected with HIV in the US by over 5 to 1 (5 million HCV infected / 1 million HIV infected) HBV infects 1.4 million here in the US.

In closing, the article states that Medical professionals seem to be flaunting their illegal actions saying with conviction they understand how to keep the public safe by ignoring safety practices. This serious infectious practice requires your action.

1) Be tested
2) Pass this information along.
Dear Supporters of Debbullan Inc.: For your good information, please find 4 important announcements listed below: * * * Debbullan Inc. is calling for mass testing for Hepatitis C (HIV and Hepatitis B) if you have ever received a Botox injection from any facility or shared vial at a "Botox Party". There is a lawsuit pending regarding contamination and risk of disease due to the continuous and widespread reuse of "one use" vials. We see no reason to wait upon the outcome the lawsuit due to the following statements regarding the alleged multiple use of the product: [The Botox business model "created an unacceptable and unreasonable risk of serious and debilitating injuries and illnesses, including HIV and Hepatitis B and C," states the lawsuit, filed Sept. 29 in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.] ["The possibilities of infection, given what is going on when it comes to injecting Botox by whomever, are terrifying," Garcia said. "We're not talking about 40,000 or 50,000 people. We're talking about hundreds of thousands of injections" in Southern Nevada.] [The Review-Journal had little trouble finding medical providers who said they and their companies knowingly broke state and federal regulations.] Please pass this call to test along to your family, friends and coworkers in order to reach as many people as possible. Aside from asking your General Medical Practitioner (GP) for the test, Debbullan Inc. has various suggestions for free and paid testing options for Hepatitis C (HIV and Hep B) at this webpage: http://www.debbullan.org/HCV_Testing.htm of course we suggest you effect an intensive search as well. We would be grateful for any new information you think would be helpful to include on our webpage. Should anyone be found to test positive for Hepatitis C the most important thing you can do is to get educated regarding ":Treat" / "Don't Treat" There is normally time to make an educated choice (HCV -- Asked Often Answered Here). The most urgent subject is how to keep the virus contained by taking good responsibility about having to live with carrying the virus. Debbullan Inc. exists to help raise positive awareness as well as promote personal education. We are here to answer questions or refer questioners to specific professionals. * * * H.R. 3974 - Viral Hepatitis and Liver Cancer Control and Prevention Act of 2009 -- This legislation can be read through this URL: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/C?c111:./temp/~c111M3g57t -- The directors of Debbullan Inc. are in the process of reading this legislation in order to form a well educated opinion of it's benefits (or lack there-of) to our constituency. Your opinion and comments are always welcome. * * * Add the Debbullan toolbar to IE and Firefox. When you add the Debbullan toolbar to IE and Firefox, each google type search you do on the internet results in a donation to us of about a penny per search. Add the tool bar to add to the over 3,000 searches already done! Also, each time you shop at one of the more than 1,300 participating stores, the tool bar button lights up showing you what percentage of what you spend will be donated to us at no extra cost to you. (You could even save money as the toolbar provides hundreds of great coupons and deals.). No registration is required! http://www.goodsearch.com/toolbar/debbullan.aspx * * * Please update your email address book to include the email DEBBULLAN@DEBBULLAN.ORG. There are some IT changes occurring in the near future. By adding this address to your email address book today none of the changes will affect your ability to correspond with us in the future. Thank you for your continued support and attention Debbullan Inc. http://debbullan.org/ http://sign4c.info/ Debbullan Inc. on Facebook! Debbullan Announcements HCV -- Asked Often Answered Here To subscribe to announcements made by Debbullan Inc. email Debbullan@cs.com kindly title the email "Subscribe" To unsubscribe to announcements made by Debbullan Inc. email Debbullan@cs.com kindly title the email "Un-Subscribe" Debbullan Inc. is a Charitable 501(c)(3) Corporation Donations received are tax deductible under sections 170, 2055, 2106 and 2522 of Internal Revenue Service Code

 



 



 



 



Rep Honda Introduces Bi-Partisan Bill to End Hepatitis Epidemic in America  

Congressman Michael Honda (D-CA), chairman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, introduced the bi-partisan Viral Hepatitis and Liver Cancer Control and Prevention Act of 2009, to address a national Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C epidemic impacting America. The bill incorporates the monitoring, testing and research and education provisions contained in the Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C bills from the 110th Congress. Rep Honda’s bi-partisan legislation was drafted in strong partnership with Reps. Charles Dent (R-PA), Edolphus Towns (D-NY), William Cassidy (R-LA), David Wu (D-OR) and Anh “Joseph” Cao (R-LA). They are joined as original co-sponsors by Reps. Todd Platts (D-PA), Delegate Donna M. Christensen (D-VI), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Bobby Rush (D-IL), Judy Chu (D-CA), and G.K. Butterfield (D-NC).

Rep Honda, chairman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, said, “Chronic Hepatitis B and C are silent killers, poised to strike millions of Americans and it is time for Congress to act in a concerted effort to educate particularly vulnerable communities as well as the general public. For example, due to a number of factors, Asian American & Pacific Islanders have a much higher prevalence rate of hepatitis B and develop liver cancer at a much higher rate than other ethnic groups. However, few in the AAPI community are aware of their risk factors or about how to manage or treat the disease. This bipartisan bill judiciously invests federal money in a balanced, comprehensive approach to viral hepatitis education, prevention, treatment, and management and I look forward to working to pass this legislation.”

The Viral Hepatitis and Liver Cancer Control and Prevention Act of 2009 brings together the common concerns of the diverse viral hepatitis community to create a surveillance system to track chronic Hepatitis B and C infections; support activities to promote early detection and education, particularly in vulnerable populations, and incorporate them into existing clinical programs at the state, federal, and tribal level; and conduct research on improved treatments and vaccines; and meet other needs of the Hepatitis community as identified by advocacy groups. 

Rep Dent: “Hepatitis B and C are treatable diseases when detected early and properly managed. Without detection and intervention, this silent disease develops into chronic viral hepatitis which is costly at best and deadly at worst. This bill makes a wise investment by focusing federal efforts to heighten awareness, promote prevention, enhance coordination, and increase research. I am proud to join this effort which demonstrates Congress's commitment to the elimination of chronic viral hepatitis.”

Rep Towns: “Viral hepatitis is a critical health issue that needs the nation’s attention. I am deeply committed to raising awareness about viral hepatitis which disproportionately infects underserved and underrepresented minorities, and often goes undetected.  Therefore, I am proud to support this legislation that will be helpful in the ongoing effort to treat and prevent this condition.”

Rep Wu:  “This bill establishes a comprehensive, coordinated strategy for hepatitis prevention, education, research, and medical management programs by federal agencies in order to bring the full horse-power of the government to bear on this important public health issue. Hepatitis infections disproportionately affect Asians and Pacific Islanders, African Americans, and Hispanic populations in the United States. For example, although they represent only four percent of the U.S. population, Asian and Pacific Islanders account for over half of the 1.4 million chronic hepatitis B cases. It is vital that minority populations received the care they need in an appropriate and effective manner, and this legislation will help make sure that happens.”

Rep Cao: “Unfortunately, Chronic Viral Hepatitis disproportionately affects certain populations, such as lower income, Asian-Pacific, and African American populations.  As a Vietnamese-American and the representative of Orleans and Jefferson Parishes, I have seen the faces and know the names behind these statistics of high incidence and mortality rates in the demographics I represent, especially given limited access to and availability of resources.  Fortunately, Chronic Viral Hepatitis is treatable when detected early and properly managed, and I am glad this bill is comprehensive in its approach to educating about, detecting, and treating Chronic Viral Hepatitis.”

Rep Cassidy: “The lack of awareness for Hepatitis B and C leads to under diagnosis.  Those infected risk liver failure which leads to liver transplant or death. As a Hepatologist, I have witnessed firsthand the consequences hepatitis can inflict on a patient’s health, their families and the nation’s health care budget.” 

“We have a wave of chronic liver disease that will crash like a tsunami on the United States healthcare system if we do not address this problem now,” said Lorren Sandt, Chair of NVHR. “This simple legislation will help identify the people who are chronically infected and get them into treatment, which can save millions in future healthcare costs.”

About Chronic Viral Hepatitis
Hepatitis B and hepatitis C are highly contagious blood borne viruses that cause liver disease, liver cancer, and premature death. Chronic hepatitis B is treatable when detected early and properly managed. In about 50% of the cases, chronic hepatitis C can be cured.
It is estimated that 2,000,000,000 people worldwide have been infected with the hepatitis B virus, 400 million chronically. Approximately 170 million people worldwide are chronically infected with the hepatitis C virus. An estimated 5.3 million people living in the United States are infected with either hepatitis B or hepatitis C; tragically more than half are unaware of their status.

About the Bill
The Viral Hepatitis and Liver Cancer Control Act would amend the Public Health Service Act to establish, promote, and support a comprehensive prevention, research, and medical management referral program for chronic hepatitis B and chronic hepatitis C virus infection. The bill, with a price tag of 90 million in 2011 will increase the ability of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to support state health departments in their prevention, immunization and surveillance efforts. The CDC’s Division of Viral Hepatitis has been underfunded in comparison with other CDC programs within the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. The following numbers show the dramatic difference in funding levels. 

HIV: $297 million to state and local health departments for prevention programs; $55.6 million to state and local health departments for surveillance; $692 million total (FY’09)

STD: $115 million to state and local health departments for Comprehensive STD Prevention Systems; $152.3 million total (FY’09)

TB: $85 million to state and local health departments for Prevention and Control; $7.6 million to state and local health departments for Laboratories; $143.8 million total (FY’09)

Hepatitis: $5 million to state and local health departments; $18.3 million total (FY ’09)

H.R.3974 Viral Hepatitis and Liver Cancer Control and Prevention Act of 2009 (Introduced in House) http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.3974: copy and paste link into Your browser... ------------------------------------------------------ Please share this with everyone you know.... this bill needs to be passed! ty! --------------------------------------------------- For a letter to Representatives concerning this piece of legislation is contained in the following link: http://www.hcvadvocate.org/community/Alert_Oct%2030_09.htm (thanks to DevilDawg15) one official Press release by our fellow advocates is here: http://hepb.org/news/NVHR_10%2029%2009.htm ------------------------------------------------------------- http://www.hcvadvocate.org/community/Alert_Oct%2030_09.htm Sample call/email script: "My name is ____________ , I live in (city, state), and I care about viral hepatitis. Hepatitis is a serious health problem in the U.S., in my District, and is a very important issue to me. I urge Representative _____________ to show leadership in the fight against hepatitis and liver cancer by cosponsoring Representative Honda and Dent's Viral Hepatitis and Liver Cancer Control Act, H.R.3974. Thank you." If there is time, tell them why this issue is important to you. You will probably only have time for 2-3 sentences. Members of Congress and their staff pay attention to their constituents. They need to hear how viral hepatitis affects you, the people you care for, your friends, family, and co-workers. Our lawmakers are unaware of viral hepatitis and how it impacts people in their Districts so they really need to hear from you! You can reach your Representative by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 1-202-224-3121 or email Representatives directly from http:/writerep.house.gov. If you don't know who your Representative is, go to www.congress.org http://www.congress.org and enter your zip code in the upper right corner. If your representative is already a sponsor, thank him for his sponsorship and offer to provide your experience/expertise in this issue as needed. Use your social and professional networks to get more people like you to call their representatives! Forward this email widely! (ty Desa!)

 


My mom was diagnosed with this disease 7 years ago. I found out an hour ago my brother tested positive as well.It's was bad enough 7 years ago when the doctor came out of surgery and told me there was "complications".
He asked if my mom used heavy drugs or drank heavily she does nothing.
She's the nurse who smiles at you and warms your worst day.
She's the angel when your world crashes. She is part of my everything.
One stupid prick of a needle, now she dies a little more each day.



She was also who took the call from this next person.

This is my brother, my true best friend, the one man I know I can depend on. The one guy who will jump in a fight even if his life might be at stake. Here I sit hopelessly helpless. He's about to be taken away. Unlike my mother it's his fault he's addicted to heroine sad thing about he he knew the precautions. Can get clean needles he just thought it wouldn't happen to him.
This is his daughter. How do I handle her when she asks me when her daddy is coming back or why did daddy die? How do you tell a child that drugs was more important than spending the most time allowed by god with them cause you just wanted to get high?

 Hepatitis C Awareness ד®ÎÇk¥ÐÏÇK™

I'm one of the lucky ex-heroine users I never used after anyone. I needed the stuff but, didn't Want to die getting it! I've tested negative 20 times ..still some days like today I wonder if it lays their dormant...

What is hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is a liver disease. Hepatitis * means inflammation of the liver. Inflammation is the painful, red swelling that results when tissues of the body become injured or infected. Inflammation can cause organs to not work properly.

What causes hepatitis C?

The hepatitis C virus causes hepatitis C. Viruses are germs that can cause sickness. For example, the flu is caused by a virus. People can pass viruses to each other.

Who gets hepatitis C?

Anyone can get hepatitis C, but some people are at higher risk, including

* people who were born to a mother with hepatitis C
* people who have had more than one sex partner in the last 6 months or have a history of sexually transmitted disease
* people who had a blood transfusion or organ transplant before July 1992
* people with hemophilia who received blood products before 1987
* people who have used illegal injection drugs

How could I get hepatitis C?

You could get hepatitis C through contact with an infected person’s blood.

You could get hepatitis C from

* being born to a mother with hepatitis C
* having sex with an infected person
* being tattooed or pierced with unsterilized tools that were used on an infected person
* getting an accidental needle stick with a needle that was used on an infected person
* using an infected person’s razor or toothbrush
* sharing drug needles with an infected person

You could get hepatitis C by sharing drug needles with an infected person.

You cannot get hepatitis C from

* shaking hands with an infected person
* hugging an infected person
* sitting next to an infected person

Most people have no symptoms until the virus causes liver damage, which can take 10 or more years to happen. Others have one or more of the following symptoms:

* yellowish eyes and skin, called jaundice
* a longer than usual amount of time for bleeding to stop
* swollen stomach or ankles
* easy bruising
* tiredness
* upset stomach
* fever
* loss of appetite
* diarrhea
* light-colored stools
* dark yellow urine
What is chronic hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is chronic when the body can’t get rid of the hepatitis C virus. Although some people clear the virus from their bodies in a few months, most hepatitis C infections become chronic. Without treatment, chronic hepatitis C can cause scarring of the liver, called cirrhosis; liver cancer; and liver failure.

Symptoms of cirrhosis include

* yellowish eyes and skin, called jaundice
* a longer than usual amount of time for bleeding to stop
* swollen stomach or ankles
* tiredness
* nausea
* weakness
* loss of appetite
* weight loss
* spiderlike blood vessels, called spider angiomas, that develop on the skin
How is hepatitis C diagnosed?

Hepatitis C is diagnosed through blood tests, which can also show if you have chronic hepatitis C or another type of hepatitis. Your doctor may suggest getting a liver biopsy if chronic hepatitis C is suspected. A liver biopsy is a test for liver damage. The doctor uses a needle to remove a tiny piece of liver, which is then looked at with a microscope

How is hepatitis C treated?

Hepatitis C is not treated unless it becomes chronic. Chronic hepatitis C is treated with drugs that slow or stop the virus from damaging the liver.

Drugs for the Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis C
Chronic hepatitis C is most often treated with the drug combination peginterferon and ribavirin, which attacks the hepatitis C virus. Peginterferon is taken through weekly shots and ribavirin is taken daily by mouth. Treatment lasts from 24 to 48 weeks.

Liver Transplantation

A liver transplant may be necessary if chronic hepatitis C causes liver failure. Liver transplantation surgery replaces a failed liver with a healthy one from a donor. Drug treatment often must continue because hepatitis C usually comes back after surgery.

How can I avoid getting hepatitis C?

You can protect yourself and others from hepatitis C if you

* do not share drug needles
* wear gloves if you have to touch another person’s blood
* use a condom during sex
* do not borrow another person’s toothbrush, razor, or anything else that could have blood on it
* make sure any tattoos or body piercings you get are done with sterile tools
* do not donate blood or blood products if you have hepatitis C

What should I do if I think I have been exposed to the hepatitis C virus?

See your doctor and get tested if you are at higher risk of getting hepatitis C or if you think you were exposed to the hepatitis C virus. Many people do not know they are infected. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent liver damage.

Points to Remember

* Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus.
* Anyone can get hepatitis C, but some people are at higher risk.
* You could get hepatitis C through contact with an infected person’s blood.
* Hepatitis C is chronic when the body can’t get rid of the hepatitis C virus.
* Liver damage can take 10 or more years to happen and is often the first sign of hepatitis C.
* Get tested if you are at higher risk or think you may have been exposed to the hepatitis C virus. Many people do not know they are infected.
* Chronic hepatitis C is treated with drugs that slow or stop the virus from damaging the liver.

Addicted & Ready or Need Help? 1-800-390-4056
Find a meeting near you! http://www.na.org/

Hep c support groups 1(800)522-HEPC
http://www.hepc-connection.org/default.asp?page=1103



Very Real People , Very Real Situation, Very Very Important You Get Your Head Out of your ass! If you can't stay clean then at least protect yourself!






(repost of original by ' ד®ÎÇk¥ÐÏÇK™ ~ÕwñÈRs~CÄnðy~ÇA®°£~& ÞµmÞkíÑ~Hepatitis C Awareness' on '2009-09-30 03:08:49')

 

How do ya get hep C? THROUGH INFECTED BLOOD You have to come into contact with infected blood and it has to enter your bloodstream One drop of Hepatitis C (HCV) infected blood could have as many as 100,000 [ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND] particles. In comparison HIV infected blood may only contain 1 to 5 virus particles. That’s it – end of story – got no mo I know just cuz I was shocked about the blood particles doesn't mean you were so I may not have shocked you…. but wait till you see what’s coming!! uh huh! check back often for more on HepC!
Welcome to a series of “DIDJA KNOW” facts about Hep C. These bulletins are written for people that don't know facts about Hep C (believe me this includes the victims sometimes too!) I will NOT be checking on comments so I cannot take responsibility for what is said..sooo if you need to respond to me about anything please email me. One goal is NOT TO BE BORING but informative. So I will try to shock you in order to achieve the other goals: ** To help you want to come back and read the next one, ** To help you remember the first one, ** and (it is so fervently hoped) to make you want to repost it. Here we go!!! Stop the truck before we go the next mile! IMPORTANT POINT! In America 10% of victims have tested positive but either have not retrieved or moved before they could be informed of their test results being POSITIVE for the Hepatitis C Virus. The walking infected and/or ignorant victims are responsible for passing along the virus and thus the disease. (In England it is 20% - 100,000 are infected and do not know.) What are the stats in your country? A huge 80% of the time Hep C presents NO SYMPTOMS AT ALL. Typically it is normal to present health issues 20 YEARS LATER. That is because the victim’s liver has finally succumbed to the disease caused by the virus. (sidenote from CinDragon...this is what happened to me! Probably became infected with HepC in the late '70's'/80's) For up to twenty years these 500,000 victims (five hundred thousand US citizens...half a million of us!) have been happily living their life, bandaging their kids cuts and scrapes, sharing their razor with their loved ones, and many other normal every day responses. I know of one family where years down the line Dad found out he had it and after testing, Mom and one son then tested positive. One son made it out without becoming infected. This story repeats over and over and over. Sooooo from here on if you don’t know for sure, here is the rule of thumb - If YOU bleed, YOU clean it up. If THEY bleed, THEY clean it up. If the bleeder cannot clean it up someone call in a professional. -------------------------------------------- I am pleading with all my friends, and everyone that reads this blog, PLEASE DEMAND TO BE TESTED FOR HEP C!!! I asked my doctor(s) since 1999 to do a hepatitis panel, and every one of them said that it was not necessary.....WTF!!! Now I am unemployable in my chosen profession, and without income or medical insurance, and cannot see a doctor other than the quack at the county board of health that does not have a clue about Hep C... Thanks for your continued prayers, love, and support! xoxox Cindy
Please Send This to your Congressman or Senator Re: FDA Fast–track Approval of Promising Treatments for HCV and Other Liver Diseases As my representative, you ought to know liver disease is one of the major killers in America today. Hepatitis C alone has been called a "silent epidemic" by former surgeon general Everett Koop, MD. It is estimated that as many as 4 million Americans are infected. The death rate due to complications from this disease is expected to quadruple in the next 10 years. It is the number one cause for liver transplants and those numbers are rising exponentially. There is no known cure and current treatment has an inadequate success rate (while often causing debilitating side effects). The FDA needs to fast-track treatment development for this deadly disease. A study presented at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases meeting on Tuesday November 9, 1999 concluded that long-term damage from hepatitis C infections may cost the U.S. economy more than $81 billion by 2019. The study, by researchers from the New England Medical Center and Tufts University School of Medicine, looked at what costs can be expected in the ten years from 2010 to 2019 as a result of the long-term effects of hepatitis C infections. Most people infected by the virus do not notice any symptoms until serious liver damage starts 20 years or so later, although testing can detect the infection and lead to early treatment. The study used a computer model to estimate the level of disease and death expected in the period 2010-2019 from existing and future infections. It found that the medical costs of treating such liver damage as cirrhosis and cancer would total at least $10.3 billion in those ten years. Productivity lost to the work force from hepatitis C complications and death would equal another $71.5 billion, the researchers, led by Dr John Wong, said. "Our results suggest that hepatitis C will be an awakening health issue that should be addressed now," Wong said in his paper. While some progress has been made of late in drug treatment development, there are simply not enough options available to people with this potentially deadly disease. The FDA is infamous for its long approval process for new drug therapies. Exceptions have been made for high profile widespread diseases such as HIV/AIDs. Such exceptions are appropriate for hepatitis C and other liver diseases given the scope of the problem. I am requesting that you investigate this important area of public health and sponsor or co-sponsor legislation allow the FDA to fast track approvals for promising drugs for liver disease treatment.. Thank you for your attention and consideration in regard to this serious matter. Sincerely, Advocate note: After you copy the text above, just type your zip code into the box below and click on the "Find My Reps" button. Then, when you get to the Congress.org site, you can paste the contents of this letter into your representative(s) blank e-mail page. And don't forget to sign it before you send it!!! © HepatitisActivist.org
Hepatitis C: The disease no one's talking about http://www.statesmanjournal.com ALAN GUSTAFSON The Statesman Journal The disease is a 'silent epidemic' that is getting little public attention, state official says Ann Shindo takes to task the federal government for failing to confront hepatitis C in Oregon and across the country. "Remember when Reagan didn't say AIDS? That's where we are with hep C," said Shindo, the coordinator of viral hepatitis prevention for the Oregon Department of Human Services. "It's (like) 1988, pal, and no one's talking about hep C. "We have four times as many people nationwide living with hep C as HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) and we have no federal funds and state funds to address this epidemic." The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that nearly 2 percent of all Americans, more than 4 million people, are infected with hepatitis C. It kills about 10,000 people per year. Each year, there are anywhere from 20,000 to 30,000 new infections, according to the federal agency. Often called the "silent epidemic," hepatitis C can hibernate in the liver for decades, often taking 20 to 30 years before symptoms surface. Shindo said an estimated 65,000 Oregonians have hepatitis C, and most of them do not know they are carrying it. For some, it's a devastating, potentially lethal time bomb. "The reality is, someone may be clean and sober for 25 years, then find out they have hep C, and it dramatically changes their life," Shindo said. "That's a very common story. It can detrimentally impact peoples' lives to the point of losing their jobs, losing their homes, and becoming homeless." Hepatitis C is spread mainly by exposure to infected blood. The most common way it's transmitted is by the sharing of needles by drug users, which accounts for nearly 70 percent of new infections. There is no vaccine for hepatitis C. The virus wasn't identified until 1989, and testing wasn't available until 1992. For unknown reasons, the majority of people with hepatitis C won't develop severe symptoms or need treatment. But about one in five among the chronically infected will develop life-threatening complications, such as cancer, cirrhosis and liver failure. Hepatitis C is the leading cause of liver transplants in the U.S. Of the 18,000 Americans waiting for a transplant, an estimated 40 percent to 60 percent have hepatitis C. Further complicating matters is the "tricky business" of treatment, Shindo said. Antiviral medication for hepatitis C is expensive, often causes severe side effects, and fails to eradicate the virus in about half of all patients. Treatment generally is not recommended for those without liver damage. But regular monitoring is seen as crucial for everyone with hepatitis C. Educating a poorly informed public about the harsh realities of hepatitis C poses an uphill fight, Shindo and other activists say. "It's a highly stigmatized disease," Shindo said. "People believe, 'Oh, it's just drug injection drug users who get it.' " In Oregon City, a nonprofit advocacy organization called the Hepatitis C Caring Ambassadors Program is trying to pump up the volume about the "silent epidemic." As it stands now, Lorren Sandt, the program director, said "most people don't know what hepatitis C is because there's a lack of education and awareness. Also, there's a shortage of testing that is available within the public health departments." Shindo holds the news media partly to blame for widespread lack of know-ledge about hepatitis C. "I think there's a lot of mythology and just cluelessness around this epidemic nationwide," she said, "and part of the reason for that is there's been a lack of media coverage and a lack of funding for folks like me to get out there and address all the high-risk folks that need to be addressed." Shindo's job is funded by the CDC, which pays for hepatitis C coordinators in nearly all 50 states. However, states only get enough funding to cover the cost of the coordinator's salary, leaving most coordinators with little or no budget for programs and services, such as testing and education. "I'm the program," Shindo said. "We have no federal or state funding for hepatitis C screening or education. We can't even afford billboards to put up the information regarding who should be screened." agustafs@StatesmanJournal.com or (503) 399-6709
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