The hepatitis C advocacy movement has come a long way since the 1990’s. We now have a World Hepatitis Day that is getting a lot of attention in this country and worldwide.
Our work is not over, but we would like to honor the people who have worked so hard to provide support, services and education to the hepatitis C community. The list will run as a ticker tape at the top of www.hcvadvocate.org
Much of the important work was done without any resources. We would not be where we are without these advocates. We know that we may have left off some people and for that we apologize.
The Wellington Aboriginal Corporation Health Service is urging people to drop by the plaza Monday.
At 11am there will be information workshop for World Hepatitis Day. Wachs will also be at Nanima on Tuesday.
World Hepatitis Alliance first put together World Hepatitis Day in 2008
in response to the concern that chronic viral hepatitis did not have
the level of awareness, nor the political priority, seen with other
communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
Fifteen people have died, and more than 2,500 suffered severe side
effects, after taking Teravic — a hepatitis C drug produced by
Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corp., it was learned Saturday.
Most of the dead had been suffering from cirrhosis of the liver,
informed sources said. They added that Teravic is not intended for use
by individuals with cirrhosis or liver cancer.
Teravic was administered to a total of 11,135 patients between its
launch in November 2011 and September last year. Of those individuals,
2,588, or 23 percent, reported serious sides effects, such as
dermatitis, or skin inflammation, all over the body, the sources said.
Vardhan Singh, a 65-year-old patient of acute anaemia, met
with an accident 25 years ago. The grievous injuries he suffered and
the loss of blood compelled doctors to transfuse extra blood to his
However, the non-availability of blood of Vardhan’s blood group in the
hospital made his family members purchase blood from a private blood
bank from Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh.
Though it saved his life at that moment, it proved fatal in the long run!
The unscreened blood from Bijnor was contaminated with the Hepatitis C
virus (HCV). Its transfusion into his body is the reason he is now
suffering from liver cirrhosis at its last stage.
There’s a deadly virus infecting an estimated 38,000 Arkansans (only one
in four of whom realize they have the disease) that is spread largely
through IV drug use and sexual contact, but also medical procedures such
as blood transfusions. It’s not HIV, though — it’s hepatitis C.
Buried in the routine rule-reviewing of Friday morning’s Public Health meeting at the Capitol was a presentation by Dr. Nathaniel Smith, director of the state Health Department,
that told of the rising number of cases of liver cancer and cirrhosis
caused by hepatitis C in Arkansas, and the increasing mortality
rate. “In Arkansas today, more people die from hepatitis C than HIV,”
said Smith. The good news is that a new generation of breakthrough drugs
has been developed that can evidently cure the disease in a majority of
patients. Previous treatments, said Smith, were analogous to chemo —
lengthy injection regimens with a low cure rate and a sometimes
devastating toll of side effects. In contrast, one new cocktail based on
the drug Sovaldi consists of taking one pill for 12 weeks; side effects
are minimal and the cure rate is 90 percent.
“There is a tsunami of people headed towards irreversible liver disease
and death,” without proper diagnosis and treatment, Smith said. In the
coming months, the Health Department will be rolling out new hep C
screenings at local health units around the state.