I just wanted to post something that's dear to my heart. For those that know me know that I contracted Hep C through drug use and finished the dreaded 28 week Interferon and Ribavirin regimen in hopes of being cured. I will have my final blood draw in October and if the virus isn't detected in my blood...I will have been cured.
That brings me to this post. I was afraid to be tested because I didn't want to face the fact that I might of contracted it. Needless to say, I tested and my nightmare came true. But in that nightmare came awareness and knowledge. Ive spent the last 1.5 years studying about the disease and trying to pass that along to others.
I urge anybody who has ever shared a needle OR A STRAW to get tested. Yes...a straw. HCV can be passed through straws shared for snorting. If you dont believe me you can go to this site and check it out.
The reason I urge you to get tested is because the disease it much easier to treat when your liver isn't damaged. People put off treating thinking that since they feel fine they are alright when it hits them one day like a Mack Truck. Not only that, but there are new medications that have been submitted to the FDA that have a better cure rate and are interferon free. For those that dont know what interferon is...its better you never have to learn. These new drugs will be reviewed December of this year and hopefully available shortly after.
If you know anybody who has it that doesn't want to face it...please encourage them to seek help. We had some members die recently on the HCV forum. This disease has killed more than the HIV virus which is crazy because HIV is only manageable while HCV is curable!
About 4 million Americans have been exposed to hepatitis C and roughly 3 million have long-term infection. That is about 2% of the US population. About 30,000 more become infected each year. Worldwide, around 170 million people have hepatitis C.
Snorting cocaine or any other drugs is a risk factor for hepatitis C, because of the sharing of straws or equipment that goes from person to person. Tiny drops of blood from the nasal passages can remain on the straw used to snort the drug and transmit the virus to another person that way.
Body piercing, tattooing and acupuncture are also risk factors. Needles can have hepatitis C virus if they haven't been cleaned between customers. Body piercing or tattooing is more likely to be a risk factor for hepatitis C if it was done at an unlicensed parlor or somewhere that does not use good procedures to clean and sterilize equipment.
I did get checked for this and was happy to say I was all clear, very worrying though waiting for the results! A lot of my friends have it through sharing needles, I had never heard that it could be passed with straws though, makes so much sense though. I knew it only took traces of blood to pass, this is why I got checked. Just be careful everyone and get checked to stop the spread or at least help it towards stopping. Great post ABN. I do hope you get the news you want my friend, wishing you well as always, ;)
That's good you were tested and even better you dont have it.
I just know from experience that people dont like talking about Hep C and would rather put it off. The CDC has recommended all baby boomers (1945-1965) to get tested because of a high risk.
"People born during 1945 through 1965 are 5 times more likely than other adults to be infected. In fact, 75% of adults with Hepatitis C were born in these years. It is estimated that one-time testing of everyone born during 1945 through 1965 will prevent more than 120,000 deaths."
My mom was born in 1949 but refuses to get tested. People associate the disease as a "drug addicts" disease....but its reach far extends just addicts.
Its sad because its treatable and many dont know it.
I know exactly what you mean about the fear, I went through it for a year when my counsellor explained about it, sharing and such. It is scary, but a whole lot more scary if you find it late my friend. I do feel for you going though this Evan, I truly do. GOD knows how scared I was. Both my parents where born in those dates, they have both been tested though, they have full health checks annually thank god!!! A lot of my friends will have it through sharing and I did try and tell them to get checked but you know how hard it is trying to get through to some people, I wish they would not just for there sakes but for new up and comers who think Heroin is cool, poor souls for sure!!! I have a friend who got cured from it he wouldn't even talk about it though so I still don't know how its treated. In a way I'm glad I don't, is that bad of me? All I know is I wish there was more public appeal about such a killer, you might see little posters dotted about here and there, but this is not enough, it needs to be shouted from the roof tops for people to sit up and listen these days. The media could do so much more to help, but they would rather advertise cornfalkes and make money, rather than save lives, unless its a bloody furry animal then they would help.
For the interest of people hating me for saying that, I do love me a furry animal, ;)
I would also thank you for the statistics on HCV versus HIV, I never knew that either, just goes to show how much is still needed to be done on awareness, I sure hope they get on it soon eh! Shocking for sure my friend.
WOW!! GREAT POST!!!
I have been tested a few times do to my Job in the Health field. BUT I was not to sure about the Straw thing or the $ bills we rolled up..I just got tested again about a year ago. I already figured that Tattooing could be un-safe if not done by a professional and even then?? Ekkkkkk OMG this is very serious and it NEEDS to be pushed out here in this World for people to Educated themselves..Thanks, You Rock Guy!!
I sure hope you are doing Much Better..Prays to you my Friend.
Thank you for sharing this with all of us and I am sure you will help save someone's life that may have not thought that they needed to be tested. You are a very intelligent and caring person! Again thank you
I am so glad you shared this. Likely the only reason I never used needles or shared a straw was because I watched too many people as a kid go down from those things. I have real early memories of people passed out with a needle in their arm and and twitching as they turn yellow. When the hep C bikers got out of prison they all rolled into the yard and that meant party time and weaver's house. I always tried to hide or leave. For those who haven't been around it first hand, talk to ABN and see how fun it is in the long haul. Again, this is important info, real info.
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