Finally had a chance to share w/ family, all about my hep c and current tx. Interestingly, I discovered that my sister and her husband tested positive for hcv antibodies in 1997. They were donating blood for a friend in need. They were then told not to worry. Of course now, they are going to retest. Who knows if a pcr test was ever done???? My sister only thought that she was immune to hep c. Crazy!
That doesn't surprise me because back then, around 1983, I was told that I had been exposed to hep B and told that I developed antibodies, but not the disease. It wasn't until 97 or 98 that I was tested by the fire dept for hep C and came up positive. I never had B, but C had not been id'd yet and it was the state of the knowledge then. It was becoming non A non B at the time. I have heard this same story from a few people...Mark
It really amazes me how many people don't know anything about Hep C.
Thats great you talked to your family. I hope everything turns out ok for
your sister. Your right..... the word is getting out. "Know More Hepatitis"
Yeah, by sharing our stories, we can educate, and hopefully save lives, via intervention beore cirrhosis or HCC set in.
If your sis and her hubs have the antibody, they
have a 25% chance of NOT having Hep C. Now they need to have a viral load or genotype test.
I think that is a common misconception that having the antibodies means that you have an immunity built up. When I received that letter from the blood bank back in 1993, I wondered the same thing. Then there is the fact that there were no symptoms. That made it easier to think that I had escaped the liver damage. I figured I may have contacted the virus in about 1970., but I did not get myself tested until 2005. We do need to get the word out and I am glad the media has picked up on this. I have not heard any conversations locally and have not talked to my internist to see if he is going to routinely test patients, but I will.
When I saw my family, my nephew had recently been at his drs. office. Someone from the CDC was there, and the conversation about testing baby boomers ensued. He was born in 1965. As far as my sister goes, I know her and her husband will follow up on this. They have a very strong family unit and insurance if they need tx. I am concerned, yet keeping it cool, so I don't freak my sister out.
I finally followed up with my sister, and she got tested. She came up negative for hep c. She said her husband will be tested soon. I'm glad I didn't have to prod her, and that she did this on her own.
What I have found, is that by sharing my situation with people I trust, it opens up the conversation about hep c. Most people know nothing about it.
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