A Very Good On Line Friend Of Ours
Has A Son That Is Suffering From Hepatitis C
She Asked Us To Do A Page On Hepatitis C
She Wants More People To Know About This Silent But Deadly Disease
Her Grandson Is Also Suffering From Leukemia

Visit Her GrandSon Chance's Site

Being A Vietnam Veteran, I Had Not Given Much Thought To Hepatitis C
We Did Not Know How Common This Disease Is In The United States
We Did Not Know How Common This Disease Is In Vietnam Veterans

Dedicated To Tamara, Chance And Chance's Mother And Father

Please Know That There Are People That Care About You

Rick, Bobbie and Rasky


Hepatitis C

Approximately 4.8 Million People Are Infected
Hepatitis C Is A Type Of Virus That Primarily Affects The Liver
It Lives In Blood Or Body Fluids

It Can Be Spread By Blood Transfusions
IV Drug Use
Tattoos
Piercings
And By Using Someone's Razor Or Toothbrush


The Acute Stage Of Hepatitis C
Which May Happen Two To Six Weeks After Being Infected With The Virus
Is Usually So Mild That Most People Do Not Know They Are Infected
Once Infected With The Hepatitis C Virus
More Than 85 Percent Of Those Infected Become Chronic Carriers Of The Virus
Most Chronic Carriers Have Some Degree Of Liver Inflammation All Of The Time
This Inflammation Is Called Chronic Hepatitis
Liver Inflammation Damages Liver Cells
Over The Course Of Many Years Extensive Liver Damage Can Result
Hepatitis C Can Be Diagnosed With A Blood Test
There Are Medications That Can Manage It


The VietNam Veteran


Vietnam Veterans Are Just Now Starting To Show Up With Liver Disease
Detection And Treatment Now
Can Help Head Off Serious Liver Disease For Many Of Them
Many Vietnam Veterans With Hepatitis C Will Not Be Treated
This Because They Cannot Establish A Service Connection For Their Disease
Vietnam Veterans Got This Disease Serving Their Country
Hepatitis C Was Widespread In Southeast Asia
Blood Sent From The U.S. Was Infected With Hepatitis C
A Lot Of Veterans Got Hepatitis C From Being Injured In Combat
A Lot Of Veterans Got Hepatitis C By Getting Blood Transfusions
They Also Got It From Working As A Medic Around Combat Injuries

Other Veterans Got Hepatitis C From An Injection
Needle Stick
A Tattoo
Or Some Other Needle-Related Transfer In Vietnam

Vietnam Veterans Cannot Establish A Service Connection Because:

Frequently There Were No Symptoms When Infected In Vietnam
While Medical Records May Show A Short Bout Of Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C Was Not Known Then
There Was No Testing To Detect Hepatitis C Infection At Discharge
There Still Is No Testing At Discharge
The Appeals Board Usually Rejects Service Connection For Hepatitis C
The Veteran Can Produce No Evidence That The Current Hepatitis C Is Related To Their Hepatitis In Service
Without A Presumptive Service Connection For Hepatitis C, Enacted In Statute
Thousands Of Vietnam Vets Infected In The Service Will Not Get VA Health Care Testing Or Treatment


What Is Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C Is A Liver Disease
Hepatitis (HEP-ah-TY-Tis) Makes Your Liver Swell And Stops It From Working Right
You Need A Healthy Liver
The Liver Does Many Things To Keep You Alive
The Liver Fights Infections And Stops Bleeding
It Removes Drugs And Other Poisons From Your Blood
The Liver Also Stores Energy For When You Need It


What Causes Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C Is Caused By A Virus
A Virus Is A Germ That Causes Sickness
For Example, The Flu Is Caused By A Virus
People Can Pass Viruses To Each Other
The Virus That Causes Hepatitis C Is Called The Hepatitis C Virus


How Could I Get Hepatitis C?

You Could Get Hepatitis C By Sharing Drug Needles
Hepatitis C Spreads By Contact With An Infected Person's Blood
By Getting Pricked With A Needle That Has Infected Blood On It
Hospital Workers Can Get Hepatitis C This Way
Being Born To A Mother With Hepatitis C
In Rare Cases, You Could Get Hepatitis C By Getting A Tattoo Or Body Piercing
This Caused By Someone Using Unsterilized, Dirty Tools
Having Sex With An Infected Person
Especially If You Or Your Partner Has Other Sexually Transmitted Diseases

You Can "NOT" Get Hepatitis C By Shaking Hands With An Infected Person
Hugging An Infected Person
Kissing An Infected Person
Sitting Next To An Infected Person


Could I Get Hepatitis C from A Blood Transfusion?

A Doctor Can Test You For Hepatitis C
If You Had A Blood Transfusion Or Organ Transplant Before 1992
You Might Have Hepatitis C
Before 1992, Doctors Could Not Check Blood For Hepatitis C
Some People Received Infected Blood
If You Had A Blood Transfusion Or Organ Transplant Before 1992
Ask A Doctor To Test You For Hepatitis C


What Are The Symptoms?

Many People With Hepatitis C Don't Have Symptoms
However, Some People With Hepatitis C Feel Like They Have The Flu
You Might Feel Tired
Feel Sick To Your Stomach
Have A Fever
Do Not Want To Eat
Have Stomach Pain
Have Diarrhea
Some People Have Dark Yellow Urine
Light-Colored Stools
Yellowish Eyes And Skin
If You Have Symptoms Or Think You Might Have Hepatitis C

"Go To A Doctor"


What Are The Tests For Hepatitis C?

The Doctor Will Take Some Blood To Check For Hepatitis C
To Check For Hepatitis C, The Doctor Will Test Your Blood
These Tests Show If You Have Hepatitis C And How Serious It Is
The Doctor May Also Do A Liver Biopsy
Biopsy (BYE-Op-See) Is A Simple Test
The Doctor Removes A Tiny Piece Of Your Liver Through A Needle
The Doctor Checks The Piece Of Liver For Signs Of Hepatitis C And Liver Damage



How Is Hepatitis C Treated?

Hepatitis C Is Treated Through Shots Of Medicine
Hepatitis C Is Treated With A Drug Called Interferon Alone
Or In Combination With The Drug Ribavirin
You May Need Surgery If You Have Had Hepatitis C For Many Years
Over Time, Hepatitis C Can Cause Your Liver To Stop Working
If That Happens, You Will Need A New Liver
The Surgery Is Called A Liver Transplant
It Involves Taking Out The Old, Damaged Liver
Then Putting In A New Healthy One From A Donor


How Can I Protect Myself?

If You Do Inject Drugs
Rasky Hopes That You Will Seek Help And Quit

You Can Protect Yourself And Others From Hepatitis C
If You Inject Drugs, Use Your Own Needles
Don't Share Drug Needles With Anyone
Wear Gloves If You Have To Touch Anyone's Blood
Don't Use An Infected Person's Toothbrush Or Razor
Don"t Use Anything Else That Could Have Blood On It
If You Get A Tattoo Or Body Piercing, Make Sure It Is Done With Clean Tools
If You Have Several Sex Partners, You Should Use A Condom During Sex
If You Have Hepatitis C, Don't Give Your Blood Or Plasma
Anyone That Receives It Could Become Infected With The Virus



How Is Hepatitis C Treated?

Hepatitis C Is Treated Through Shots Of Medicine
Hepatitis C Is Treated With A Drug Called Interferon Alone
Or In Combination With The Drug Ribavirin

All Of The Above Text Provided By Our Family Doctor
Used With Permission


Additional Surfer Comments

Great Informative Page!
You May Want To Add This To Your Page


One Can Get Inoculated Against Hepatitis B And C
It's A Six-Month Process Involving Three Injections
The Second Injection One Month After The First And The Final At Six Months
I Went Through This Series

Many Healthcare Workers Are Provided This Service For Free By The Hospitals Where They Work
Many People Do Not Realize That They Can Contract Hepatitis C Through Sexual Intercourse
Many Older, Mid-Age, At Least, Who Feel Safer Establishing Relationships Don't Realize That Just Because A Potential Lover Has Not Been Promiscuous
They Could Still Be Infected With Hepatitis C
This Is Another Preventive Action

Again
Very Excellent Information
Thank You Guys



Hi Old And Dear Friend
What A Wonderful Page!

I Am A Hepatitis C Sufferer As Well
I Have Some Important Information That You Might Want To Add
Treatments Can Not Be Given To Sufferers Who Have Depression As Well As Some Other Mental Disorders
The Treatment Causes Extreme Depression And Can Lead To Suicidal Tendencies
Please I Urge You To Add This Information To Your Page
The Drug Is Not 100% Safe And Causes Some Very Dangerous Side Effects
It Can Also Lead To Liver Cancer Which I Also Have!

Thanks And Keep Up The Great Work....
Take Care And Much Love To You

DarkShadow



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