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I have hepatitis C, type 1-A.
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I have hepatitis C, type 1-A.

My hepatitis C is in the dormant stage after two years of treatment. I am currently going to phlebotomy school to be certified. My instructor just found out and she will probably be my employer as well. Is there any reason if I use the Protective Saftey devices I can not pursue my career. If hired would it be a volation of the Occupational Safety and Heath Administration rule. I want to simply know can I be prevented from working as a phlebotomist if known I have Hepatitis C. Linda ***@****
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642936_tn?1239295766
An agency (or school) cannot discriminate against you because you have a medical condition.  I am an RN in a level 2 nursery, and I got Hep C from blood transfusions at birth.  I was really scared when I found out, I had always wanted to be a nurse.  Now, I just have to keep the MN department of health up to date with my work status.  I don't think you even have to tell your employer if you choose not to, you just need to follow universal (standard) precautions like everyone else.  We protect ourselves from patients body fluids all the time, and we are essentially protecting them from us as well.  I can do everything that my job requires me to do.  They did say something about procedures such as orthopaedic surgery and such where you would be in a body cavity and not neccessarily be able to see your hands.  If you are performing procedures where you are going in blind, there are a few different rules.  MN has a level of risk system, and I am in the lowest risk category.  Hope this helps.

PS. So do you even still have Hep C?  If the treatment worked and the virus has cleared, you should be fine for sure.
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Avatar_f_tn
I still have hepatitis C. I was told it would never go away, just lay dormant. I hate to think OSHA or the Medical Association could prevent me from working in the Labrotory because of the Hepatitis C. I dont think I am contagious. I am not currently on medication and the Gastroenterogist states I have less than 1/2 liver scarring due to my upbringing and not drinking or doing recreational drugs. I just want nothing to stand in my way or be disappointed by my instructor telling me is it against regulations for me to do the work of drawing blood.
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Avatar_f_tn
Just to clarifty, hepc does not lay dormant.  Either you were cured (sustained virological response) with treatment or you were not.  You stated you treated for hepc for 2 years.  Were you told at the end of treatment that there was no active virus left in your blood?  What did your follow-up PCR's indicate?
If you treated successfully, you will always test positive for the antibodies because you had the virus at one time, but no active virus should be present.  
Regardless of your status, you can't be discriminated against.  Even those in the medical community with hepc have the same rights as those that do not.  Can't get rid of the stigma that goes with hepc, but you entitled to every consideration as if you never had the disease.
Trinity
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi, I was told by my gastroenterologist that Hepatitis C is never cured and it lays domant. My viral load is 22,000,000 and he states I am dormant so I am no longer on treatment and that has been a year. I have seen him for a one year check-up and he didn't even do any blood tests and said I will see you  next year you are fine. That's all I know. I wonder sometimes if he is educated with hepatitis C because I sure didn't get much education from him. I called Schering where I got my medication for treatment. I do know he did a second biospy and the scarring was only 1/2 percent and that my liver was fine so I don't know what to think. Maybe someone could educate me so I know what I should do in regards to whether I should still be on treatment or ask for a quanitive count. . I just don't know that much. Any education or help I could get would be greatly appreciated and I will see next Tuesday if I am going to be able to do my clinicals. I pray I will get to get certified and if not I was advised to contact the American Disability Association and see what they can do for me. Linda ***@****. Thanks, Trinity and I would like to chat with you more.
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374652_tn?1311302831
Hi, sounds a little strange to me.  It may very well be that the virus can be dormant, but for all accounts you are considered "cured" if your blood shows no virus.  Some people show no virus after years (5 years that I know of) of completing treatment successfully.  It sounds like you still have the virus if you have a viral load.  Even if you still have the virus you cannot be discriminated against.  You are required to take universal precautions as described in your training.
Where are you located? Can you get another opinion?  You do have the option of not treating, especially if you do not have liver damage.  
Find out what your viral load is
                            exactly what the liver damage is according to stage and grade
                             what your options are for treatment
how did you do on treatment?  Exactly how long were you on treatment and what was your treatment?
You will probably get some better feedback here.
Do not worry, you can do whatever you want for work as long as you take universal precautions.
Please find out more about your situation, because it doesnt sound accurate to me.
Good luck,
we're all in this together.   XX M4now
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408795_tn?1324939275
"My viral load is 22,000,000 and he states I am dormant so I am no longer on treatment and that has been a year".

That just doesn't make sense.  If you're VL was 22,000,000 and you went thru tx and are now SVR that would make sense.  You may always test positive for the antibodies, that means when you get a blood test they will be able to tell that at one point you were HepC positive.  If I were you I would make an appointment and get a blood test done to make sure where you stand.  HepC is never dormant and I have never heard such a term used in the same breath with HepC.  You are either SVR or you are still infected.  I'm hoping you are SVR and there's just been a slight mis-understanding.  You can be stabilized as in your bloods remaining at the same level for a couple of years, but not dormant.  Please do yourself a favor, as you really need to know with the career choice you've planned.  Once you go thru tx you should know and your doctor needs to be more open to more discussion with you.  If he's not, you need to push him or find someone else especially if unfortunately you are still infected.  I wish you the best and I know you will get to the bottom of this.  Most likely you are SVR, but you do need a blood test done because you need to be certain.  God Bless you and good luck.
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186344_tn?1278268245
"I dont think I am contagious."

I agree with the others that you should check if you have a viral load or not. There is nothing like dormant hepatitis C, so if you have a viral load, you are contagious. If you do not have a viral load, your treatment was successful and you are as close to being cured as anyone can guarantee you. No viral load would mean not contagious, although you are not allowed to donate blood or organs, except to others who are hepatitis C infected.

You need to figure this one out, your doctor seems to be of no help.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hep C is not "dormant". Either you have it or you don't.

If you have it, then you will have a positive viral load. If you don't have it, then you will be undetectible for the virus.

Suggest you see a liver specialist (hepatologist) and find out what your true Hep C status is.

-- Jim
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Avatar_m_tn
Just read your second post.

It appears you do have Hepatitis C.

That said, your GI is wrong. Hepatitis C can be cured.

Collect your records and see a liver specialist (hepatologist). They know more about Hepatitis C than GIs and can give you better evaluation and advice moving forward.

-- Jim
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi:

Part of your original question was would you be able to work in the health care field if you have Hepatitis C. There have been cases of infected surgeons transmitting the virus to their patients, but it is exceedingly rare with only a handful of documented cases in the U.S. The American College of Surgeons doesn't recommend that surgeons who have Hepatitis C be restricted from operating:

"Surgeons who have chronic HCV infection have no reason to alter their practice based upon current information."

The Centers for Disease Control say the same thing:

"There are no CDC recommendations to restrict a healthcare worker who is infected with HCV. The risk of transmission from an infected healthcare worker to a patient appears to be very low. All healthcare personnel, including those who are HCV positive, should follow strict aseptic technique and Standard Precautions, including appropriate hand hygiene, use of protective barriers, and safe injection practices."

Hope that information helps.


Jeff
Facta non Verba


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