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What to expect

My sister was recently diagnosed with Hepatitis B. The other day after more blood work, it was changed to Hep C. What can she expect from having this and of her journey to heal from it? What can I do to best help and suport her through this? It scared me more to learn, it is Hep C, intead of Hep B. I've read that at least 75% of people who have Hep C go into a chronic form of it. That it can lead to debilitating health problems, and in some cases, even death. This is all new to us, and a first for this in our family. Your imput is invaluable to me, thank you in advance!!!
3 Responses
683231 tn?1467323017
Hep c was very difficult to cure in the past but no more! There were drugs approved in the last couple of years that are curing nearly all with hep c.

Has she only had a antibody test? The antibody test only shows she came into contact with the virus  at sometime in the past. About 25% of people can beat the hep c virus without medical help the rest will need to be treated.

To confirm if she is currently infected her doctor will order a test for the virus itself called HCV RNA by PCR or similar name. This will also tell her the viral load that is the amount of virus circulating in her blood.

If that test is positive she is currently infected and will need another test to determine her genotype of hep c to know which if the new treatments will work best with her type of hep c.

Hepatitis C is divided into six distinct genotypes throughout the world with multiple subtypes in each genotype class. Examples would be 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b and so on.

Her primary care doctor will likely refer her to an infectious disease specialist  for treatment. Treatment could be as simple as1 pill a day for 8 or 12 weeks with most reporting few or no side effects from treatment. These new medicines have about a 98% cure rate for those who have not been treated before and have little to no liver damage.

As hep B is currently incurable it is much better news she has hep C and not hep B.

She can and will be cured.

Good luck to you and your sister
2 Comments
Thank you so much for your input and information. I am just now seeing your comment. She has no health insurance, thus cannot get treatment or further testing.
Check out http://www.needymeds.org

NEEDYMEDS

NeedyMeds is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help people who cannot afford medicine or health care costs.

Program
NeedyMeds offers resources that are helpful to uninsured and underinsured patients:

Patient assistance program database for patients to search for medications they are taking or need
MRI/CAT scan discount program
Medication bill mediation
Eligibility
Eligibility depends on programs.

Contact Information
Needy Meds
P.O. Box 219
Gloucester, MA 01931
Phone: 1-800-503-6897

Is she eligible for Medicare?
683231 tn?1467323017
Just to add I had hep c for 37 years. I had failed 3 prior attempts to treat with the old medicines. I am now cured of hep c. I completed my treatment in May 2015
18601474 tn?1466188088
Hi there, here is a great set of articles about the Hepatitis C diagnosis and treatment journey from MedHelp.org. We hope it helps you!
http://www.medhelp.org/hepatitis-c?section=articles
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