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Avatar universal

Military Veterans

Are there any Hep C positive veterans out there who received vacinations with the air injector gun while on active duty in the early 1970's or late 1960's?  The veteran population from that time period has a high prevelence of Hepatitis C and some believe that the air injector method of giving vacinations used at that time might be the cause.  I was in the Marine Corps from 70 to 74 and remember being vacinated with this method where we were simply lined up and injected one by one by stepping forward to the injection station.  The air injector gun shot a high pressure pre-measured dose through the skin on the upper arm.  The end of the air gun that touched the arm could not have been sterile as I remember seeing bleeding arms on some after the shot was given.  This has recently been added to the list of risk factors for Hep C.  Comments??
52 Responses
170041 tn?1219708119
Hepatitis C Vets. Web site for and about Vets with hepc.About a 5 times higher rate than the rest of the population.
233616 tn?1312790796
unfortunately it only takes a virion to transfer, not even a drop...which is what makes all the tatooing going on these days so senseless.
In some countries such as Egypt and Pakistan, school children were all vaccinated with one needle, and the rate in Pakistan is about 75% positive now, not sure what Egypts rate is, but definitely that is one method of contact.

also, those vaccinated against Hepatitis with gamma gobulin were actually infected that way. Ireland has positively traced 100 cases back to a bad batch of that. So when everyone lined up to avoid succoumbing to one case, they were all given a case by "the cure".  

fun stuff huh??  Not.  
As far a the vietnam era goes though, between the wounded triage treatments, (no testing of blood supply beyond typing)  rampant use of heroin, and intimate contact with the infected populace, there's more than one way that Nam era vets could have gotten HCV.

Avatar universal
I was in the military from '63-'67.  If I remember correctly the air-pressure injections had just come in to service. I too remember the lines and the medics merely rubbing off the droplets of blood as they ran down your arm.  I never saw a medic sterlize the gun itself.  You simply was herded through like cattle. Also, if you made a fast turn for some reason you were apt to receive a small tear.  However, I am sure they were perfected to some degree.   Thanks for the flashbacks.......Hawkbill
358466 tn?1226244218
Army 72-74

Remember the injections. Same response as others.

Also remember the time. A lot of blood.

Convinced that's where I got it.
96938 tn?1189803458

"between the wounded triage treatments, (no testing of blood supply beyond typing)  rampant use of heroin, and intimate contact with the infected populace, there's more than one way that Nam era vets could have gotten HCV. "

You got only one out of three right in your comment

568322 tn?1370169040

Transmission methods specific to military service include the lack of standard precautions, dental and medical procedures with improperly sterilized equipment, reusable needles/syringes, JET GUN INJECTIONS, use of multi dose vials and contaminated blood based vaccines, sharing personal care items like razors and combat exposure.

There are now studies that show that jet guns got contaminated with blood and were able to transmit infection....


There are also studies done by the CDC that showed that jetguns got contaminated with Hep B and C.....


Nobody wore gloves and the jetguns were not wiped between recruits as per manyfacturer instructions.  Jet guns were not recalled by the FDA until 1998.

1 in 10 US Veterans are infected with Hep C, a rate 5  times greater than the 1.8% infection rate of the general population.

A study conducted in 1999, by the Veterans Administration involving 26,000 veterans showed that up to 10% of all veterans in the VHA system tested positive for hepatitis C.

Of the total number of persons who were hepatitis C antibody positive, and reported an era of service, 62.7% were noted to be from the Vietnam era. The second most frequent group is listed as post-Vietnam at 18.2%, followed by 4.8% Korean conflict, 4.3% post-Korean conflict, 4.2% from WWII, and 2.7% Persian Gulf era veterans.


Hepatitis C is considered "service connected" but when a claim is submitted, it is up to the person to prove that they got vaccines using a jet gun.

HCVets is fighting to change it to "PRESUMED service connected", so that Hep C will be automatically considered service related and Vets won't have to prove it.  

HCVets.com has a certified VA officer who can help you submit your claim to the VA and they have all the info on jet guns to help you back up your claim.
568322 tn?1370169040

"rampant use of heroin, and intimate contact with the infected populace"

I'm used to you making stupid claims and never backing up anything you say, but this one takes the cake.  

Do you realize that Vets got infected by jetgun vaccines DURING BOOT CAMP and not by "rampant use of heroin" as the VA would like us to believe?

Did you know that during World War II, our government used an unlicensed yellow fever vaccine that was contaminated with Hepatitis B and a study done later by the VA
showed that 330,000 of our soldiers had been infected?


And nobody told those soldiers....but people like YOU accused them of drug use!

Did you know that the FDA, the medical director from the VA and the WHO have all admitted that jet guns got contaminated by blood and Hep C transmission was possible?

IN BOOT CAMP!!!!  And not only were they given vaccines but also immune globulin with reusable syringes as part of experiments!

So how dare you say it was from "rampant use of heroin and intimate contact" when obviously you know nothing about Veterans.

Go to HCVets and tell them I sent you.  They'll be happy to educate you.
96938 tn?1189803458
Those were the two I was referring to, but maybe for slightly different reasons.  Contray to popular belief, the soldiers in Vietnam did not sit around and shoot up heroin when we were shooting other stuff.  The purity of the herion did not allow IV use, it was smoked or snorted.  Even snorting would have taken your head off. Not to say there wasn't widespread use, just that heroin methods were not condusive to hcv.  As to the the 'intimate contact', those incidents were no more risky than anywhere else in the world.  I'd be really irritated if it wasn't for the fact that I also appreciate the stroll down memory lane.
626749 tn?1256519302
Yup, Marine, remember the air jet injections and blood drops on my arm, like it was yesterday.

Hey FlGuy...1 out of 3 aint that bad....lmao,

Avatar universal
Thank you all for your service to our country!  I am sorry that Hep C is yet another issue that plagues our heros.

One of my sons returned home from his 2nd tour in Iraq this summer.  During his medical out-processing, he told the doctors that he had a painful lump in his testicle ever since he was involved in an explosion back in January.  Military doc sent him for an ultrasound and then told him he was fine and signed off on him.  He sent him home and told him to take pain pills for the pain and sleeping pills for his insomnia and not to worry about the lump.  My son was wise enough to see his civilian doc the day after his arrival home who sent him emergently to a Urologist.  The Urologist took one look at the ultrasound that was done by the military and told him he had cancer and he had surgical removal the following day and follow up radiation treatments.

During all this treatment, the insurance was a nightmare because he had been out-processed by the military.  Denial, denial, denial everywhere.  It took months of calls, e-mails, faxes, etc. to get him covered as he should have been.  In some ways, the military has improved so very much and, in others, it's just as raw as it was many years ago.
Avatar universal
To Meakea,

264121 tn?1313033056
I'm sorry about your son and hope he will be fine after the radiation.  The treatment of vets from all wars is just shameful.  They serve our country and then get treated as second class citizens if they have health issues when they come back, even when those are combat related health issues and/or injuries from battle.  The quality of physicians in military hospitals is frequently also dismal.  Pretty disgusting and just thinking about it makes me angry.  34 years ago when my dad was a Navy pilot at the end of Vietnam he and my mother opted to use a civilian obgyn and pay out of pocket when my brother was born.  That's how bad many of the Navy docs were rumored to be at that time, that they made such a decision.
Avatar universal
I am a v/n vet and service connected 20% for my hep c.  I remember my buddy infront of me in line for our airgun shot flinched and tore a hole in his shoulder.  Everyone is right, they never steralized the gun between shots.  VA is picking up my t/x tab, and am very pleased with the team of Dr's I am working with. Any questions brandej, feel free to contact me with a personal note.
Avatar universal
Air Force 1978 -1998.  I too think this was my only risk was standing in the ship line (Other than a lot of dental work I had ... maybe)
Avatar universal
can hep c antibodies be claimed as ser connected
Avatar universal
i was in the army at 17 in 1979-1983 I remember the air guns at Ft Jackson south carolina, we were lined up like cattle getting that shot one after the other no one was stereilizing nothing, what is the VA doing for vets in regards to this, I know I can use some assistance with future meds, i am going to start TX in april, geno 1a F2 level 2 bx
Avatar universal
My husband got infected by air-jet injection in the NAVY boot camp in the early 80s. He has genotype 1 virus.
338734 tn?1377163768
I thought I posted on this thread, but either my comments were deleted or else it was a different, similar thread.

I have to say that I did not find IV drug use "rampant" by any stretch of the imagination where I served from 72 to 74. The reports from VietNam era vets with no other risk factors for HCV, plus the obviously sloppy methods in vaccination, plus the known contamination of the gamma globulin injections made from the general blood supply (which would have been certainly contaminated since they had no clue about HCV much less a detection method), raises a very likely probability of contamination during Military service in that era.

The 60's & 70's "drug craze" just doesn't come close to explaining the ten-fold increased rates of infection among Viet Nam era vets and others since. Too bad it is so inconvenient (expensive) for the Military to own up to the responsibility.

Good luck to you and thanks for serving.
Avatar universal
I was in the army 1971-1974 and i remember standing in line at Ft Lewis getting injection after injection and I asked if they ever changed needles and they told me only when it starts tearing the skin and people start to bleed. I also had my wisdom teeth pulled with the same instruments as the person in front of me had used on him and the person behind me. I blame the Army for my Hep.C I don't even have a tatoo on my body to this day.
Avatar universal
My brother joined the Navy in 1973 and was diagnosed with Hep C in 1990. He remembers the air immunizer and the bleeding arms in front of him at boot camp. He has never been an IV drug user nor is he in any other high-risk group. He is convinced that he got Hep C in boot camp, yet the VA recently turned him down for benefits, and he was told that most people who apply for VA benefits to cover HepC are also turned down. It seems clear that the VA doesn't want to have to pay for treatment. Are there any vets groups pursuing a class-action suit, or any other mass action to force the VA to own up to the problem?
Avatar universal
Went to Ft. Leonardwood for boot camp in April of 1970.  During all the shots, both air gun and needle I got a "tear" in my arm from one of the guns.  Blood was running down everyone's arms, not just a few, so blood contamination was an absolute, not just a possibility.  During this time many of the new troops were guys who took military service over prison time so we got some real "winners" in our outfit.  Wouldn't be a bit surprised if many of these guys were needle users prior to coming into the service.  I now have a serious neural condition in my feet and legs with the pain unbearable at times.  I'm not diabetic so no causal connection there.  My sister had polio when she was five and I was three.  They held me down at the hospital for the gamma globulin shots so I don't know what the cause of the neural pain is all about.  Went to over ten "specialists" about ten years ago and none of them could come up with a diagnosis.  They just said it was something I would have to "live with".  If anyone has an opinion on this please let me know.  BTW, I was a medic also.
1815939 tn?1377995399
If it was me, I would get tested for Hepatitis C.

You have a history of possible exposure via the gamma glob shot and also the air gun. Plus, as a medic, you were most likely exposed to a lot of blood.

Hep C can cause many extrahepatic manifestations. Peripheral Neuropathy is one of them. I am not saying that you have Hep C or that you have Peripheral Neuropathy but, if it was me, I would get tested for Hep C. If the test is negative, fine. If it is positive, then you can get treated for the Hep C.


Avatar universal
Thanks..........good idea.
163305 tn?1333672171
For a list of places that do testing, try looking at this web site:
Avatar universal
x navy corpsman 1983 to 1987. Used and recieved vacination from air jet injector. Found pos for HCV 12/2011, fired from job when I got sick so insurance no go. anyone know of any help?
you, just like i am through the VA mdical.  Vuarenteed to you for you service unless you were discharged other than honorable
Avatar universal
I had air injection at ft lenord wood mo. in 1976 I flinged when injected so they gave me another shot. about 176 of us had to be hospitalized after injection. spent month in hospital that turned from swine flu to ammonia.I would sure like to know how many of us got hep C !
5332620 tn?1390323458
I have for some time now have been trying to reach veterans so as to prove that they got diseases through airguns and shots in service.  I was denied due to the most used word in C&P exams (SPECULATION) which I find funny considering the VA states in there web on it that it in theory biologicaly plausible yet denieng claims for the same reason which speculation meas theorys or guesses. my unit in Germany hgad a hep outbreak in Dec 78 and they checked for hepatitis in Jan 79 which I can prove but convincing the VA is another story.
if anyone wishes to contact me feel free to do so at ***@****
Avatar universal
Sorry to hear you were denied.  Have you gone through any appeals?
No doubt you are aware of this site but just in case or for others in a similar situation who don't

Sometimes local veterans legions or other organizations will help with information or even filing appeals.

It seems to be real hard to get entitlement to service connection for hepatitis C with even with appeals but a few have but many have not.  

I was in army in the late 60's but came down with acute non A non B in 1980 (HEP C now) when I was injecting drugs. So no way could I get service connection.  I immediately stopped sharing needles and related items. Guess I was lucky i got that instead of HIV in 1980 as I know a few drug addicts who dies within the 80's from that. Completely stopped injecting drugs in the early 80's     .

I am low income and receive free medical care from the VA. Now waiting for the VA to approve SOVALDI and Ribavarin to treat my genotype 2a/ 2c.
Who knows maybe one of them got one from the air injection and the other  from the 1980 exposure.

BTW be sure to read the Terms of Use & Privacy  this site auto removes email links that why ***@**** shows in your post.

Wish you the best!
Avatar universal
My husband served in the US Army 1969-1972. CA veteran, never went to Vietnam but Germany, honorably discharged. His remembrance of immunizations were a line up and injections one right after the other, same needle and air injections. We've been trying to get VA to take accountability and provide treatment. We have been told that approx.  70% of Vietnam era veterans are Hep C positive. We've received denial and denial from them. Anyone with success?
Avatar universal
im a air force vet 21979-1984. im positive with hepc genotype 4 which is mid east asia. I received many airgun shots in the air force. and during boot camp there was a high amount of iran air force at lackland doing English training or something. seems funny that my geno type is from the mid east and I was never near the mid east during my service or at any time. I am presently on chemo meds interferon and ribivron. the va was not helpful when contacted
9223861 tn?1402446894
yes I,m a vietnam Vet with hep-c 1972 -1974 great lakes byron tucker ***@****
6980835 tn?1386701335
Go to HCVets.com there you will find what you are seeking   good luck ray
Avatar universal
I did not contract Hep C from the hydraulic injectors, BUT, am 100 percent certain, I contracted Hepatitis B.  The instruments used for mass injections were not the problem, the corpsmen, medics and any other military and civilian medical person used the injectors improperly - thus creating the perfect opportunity for transmitting tainted blood/body fluids.  No sterilization of the instrument after EACH use, or swabbing the arms.  I can remember as if it was yesterday standing in line with so many other boot camp sailors, watching as many received the pump and walked away with small rips in the skin and blood dripping down their arm.  I also recall asking the corpsman to please sterilize the instrument, his hands and my arm prior to injection.  This was in 1972 at Navy Bootcamp in Orlando, Florida.  I am female but gender made no difference in how the injections were administered.  Within just 2 weeks perhaps a few days more, I developed slight jaundice, high fever , severe fatigue.  I was hospitalized for just a few days with the diagnosis being HEAT exhaustion. Not being medically trained, I went with the diagnosis and finished boot camp on time and went on to retire.  In retrospect, through the last 40 years, my health took some rather odd dips - fatigue, nausea, fever and overall feeling of malaise.  Recuperation usually lasted a couple months before I felt my strength return.  I donated blood shortly after bootcamp, and received a letter from the base Red Cross and base hospital advising me that abnormal results were found in the blood spin after donation.  I was informed by the base hospital I had Australia Antigen B (Hep B), and was treated like a pariah.  Back then, medicine believed Hep B was contracted through needle sharing or exchange of body fluids through unsafe sex.  Knowing I had never used drugs of any sort, and also, had never had a sexual relationship, I thought of the injections.  Fast forward 40 years.  This year in fact, yes, I have had active periods of Hep B, and have been diagnosed with stage one liver cancer/disease.  I do not drink and have not done any drugs and my physical exchanges have been safe.  Now, medicine understands the hydraulic instruments used for mass innoculations for not just the military, but for school children and other large groups have been impacted by the lack of caution used by whomever was doing the inoculation caused many to test positive for Hep B and Hep C and possibly other long term conditions.  

This is a long response, and perhaps not the answer you were looking for, but I feel it is important that others in our situation should understand that Hep C is not the only member of the Hep family that one contracted from tainted instruments.  It takes a micro virus to become infected.  No, I have not asked if this is considered service connected but I will.  Thank you.
Avatar universal
13 years ld his thread.  wild.

1986 - 1990. Induction and two overseas deployments, US Army.  Many, many air gun shots, plus bloodwings with my blood brothers.  I remember thinking, "Jeez, did they just give me AIDS?"

I read that the high pressure liquid vaporized blood in the skin, which would often settle just a bit on the tip of the gun to be injected into the next person.  
Avatar universal
I was inducted into the Air Force on 30Nov70 at Fort Wayne (I believe it was called) in Detroit, Michigan. Same thing, never had multiple sex partners, never shared needles or illegal drugs. Docs found it in Dec 2001, started treatment Feb. 2002. It was 9 months of hell followed by many years of purgatory. My health has sucked since my induction into the A F. It still was a great time, should have stayed in. I remember agent orange vets had to protest and protest to get the help they needed and deserved!!!! Just saying. If anyone has any info or ideas contact me
Avatar universal
My fiancée and his brother joined the Army National Guard back in the 1970's era under the buddy system.  They too remember being air gun injected and blood being everywhere.  The air gun was never sterilized.  My fiancée's brother, needless to say is now deceased because of this unnecessary action.  My fiancée also underwent treatment for Hep C.  We have been doing battle with the VA for approximately eight years now and they deny this ever happened.  We are also trying to obtain an article stating that there was an outbreak and they tell us it doesn't exist.  The article does exist because my fiancée did see it, we just are unable to get our hands on it for proof.  Is anyone aware of this article?
Avatar universal
1976 US ARMY still have my shot record with swine flu from 77. yeah one right after the other got it. there was an artical about 5 years ago about this in the READER before I saw that I thought i got it because without my knowledge i must have used drugs at a party and got it. i didn't know about blow-back from the gun and I knew how you got HepC so I was really at a lost on how I got it. but almost 30 years to the day I started feeling weak and not active anylonger and found out why and there also web data on a vet who won. but i tried the VA but they said no. i did not dispute. but i think since it was for hepc and at that time I said chronic hep that maybe a legal issue will allow me to refile with the VA for chronic hepC not just HepC? good luck but i am going into treatment soon and so what they didn't compensate at least they are helping me. PS i got punched in the nose once and i am calling it in under then new battery and sexual abuse act thing. maybe i will get comp and a nose job? good luck fellow vets! 7thCav 5th Bat.
Avatar universal
I got Hep C 1a genio- type in 1980 from shots given with the air gun. Haven't started treatment yet, and am worried how treatment will be. Think I need to file for a check cause I am too sick to stand much let alone work.
Avatar universal
My husband also was in army 1971-1972 korea and also in Germany after that I believe 74-76 he passed away in 2007 from hepc heptacelur carcinoma this was 2-3 months after he was denied sc for hep c by way of air jet gun vacinations. I just received his medical records in2015  waiting for the appeal need new evidence
4896357 tn?1360674504
Old thread. I didn't know this forum was active back in 2001! When I was a kid we were all injected that way! We all have the scar on our upper arms to show it.
163305 tn?1333672171
This is an old thread but the subject is not. There are still people discovering they have hep C and were given it via airgun injections while in the military.

Check out this site: http://www.hcvets.com/
317787 tn?1473362051
If any of you are still here, please read this.  When they knew

317787 tn?1473362051
I think this is why they are telling everyone born between 1945 and 1965 to be tested.

I got a gama globulin shot in 1977 which I believe had HCV
I was in the the Army from 81-84 and was vaccinated with the air gun method and as a medic I’ve used these guns. I was diagnosed with hep-C in 2010 with a liver transplant in 2013 due to the Hep-C I’m interested in finding out what is the Geno type most veterans are coming up with mine was 1-B there could be a correlation there.
Avatar universal
This is probably far fetched since the original post is so old but it is worth a shot! My father served in the Marines from 1971-74 and he has Hepatitis. He was diagnosed some time ago, and is sure it was contracted from the inoculation shot he received while in the Marines. I am doing research for him trying to figure out what needs to be done to give him the correct information and paperwork needed to receive social security disability benefits. Thank you in advance!

Avatar universal
I was in usar from 71 to 74 and was diagnosed with hep c some years ago. It of course has altered my life regarding many decisions including insurance. This is typical of gov procedure regarding denial..,
Avatar universal
jetinfectors.com has information on the risks of military jet injections
Avatar universal
I unlisted in 1978 and have hep c. They lied and said I told them I was introvines drug user.
Avatar universal
Yes what's up?
Avatar universal
yes 1972 or 1973 Wurzburg hospital Germany. I was one of several cases where I contacted the disease and quarantined. the cause non sterilized needles used to draw blood. I ran across a report on a congressional investigation many years ago. since then I have not been able to locate it again. anybody know this
Hi jumbo this thread was started in 2001 you might want to start a new thread so more people will see your comments.

I was in Kitzingen 77 to 80 and Bamberg 84 to 88

You sure it was hep C? Most people don’t have symptoms of hep C and  quarantine is usually for hep B. We had some hep B going around in Kitzingen with a few people being quarantined in Wuerzburg hospital in 1985 I believe  
Avatar universal
I served in the Marines from 1972 through 1974. I also went through what I refer to as the inoculation line by use of the air gun.  Months later deployed overseas, I came down with a severe case of Hep C which I was hospitalized in Okinawa for 3 weeks. Lost 35% of my body weight during this time, constant 24/7 dry heaving, unable to eat or drink. Was fed through I.V. tubes. Woke up in the middle of the night with a nurse sitting at the foot of my bed who stated by order of doctor.  What is the current V.A. policy in 2018 regarding this issue.  The national archive office has been advised and records have been requested. V.A. Benefits office  in Wisconsin who is requesting all medical records says it takes a full year to process any claims.  What's going on with the V.A.?
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