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Post Info TOPIC: New here and would appreciate any advice


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Posts: 8970
RE: New here and would appreciate any advice


Welcome to the forum! I'm glad you found us and hope to relieve some of your fears. The new treatments are extremely easy to complete, especially compared to the days of old. Much of the literature you're going to find online now is dated, so be careful what you're referencing. We'll be happy to provide you with as much information as possible.

You mentioned having some testing done at a free clinic. Can you tell me those results? You mentioned having a viral load of 125K and that's not high. Mine was 5 million and I know others that have had counts ten times that. All the viral load indicates is the active viral particulate in your blood and has no bearing whatsoever on how you will do on treatment. Now, with the new all oral drugs called DAA's or Direct Acting Antivirals, a viral load under 6 million may qualify you for a shorter duration of treatment. That depends on a number of things, particularly what your genotype is. If you have had a viral load accomplished, there should be mention of the genotype. Usually type 1, 2, 3 here in the USA. There are others, but they are much rarer here. The Middle East, Asia and Africa see those in addition to geno 4. I have never met someone with types 5 and 6, but they exist globally. Each genotype has it's own set of treatment criteria, but these new drugs tend to cover them all very effectively. Most courses of treatment for new patients (treatment naive) are 12 weeks. If you have had treatment before, that changes some of the considerations. You don't need to know everything right away anyway. 

You will need some additional tests, like a full liver profile, complete blood count and an abdominal ultrasound to look at the liver and surrounding organs. They need to determine what your fibrosis and inflammation levels are as well. That can be done by a specialized ultrasound called a Fibroscan, blood tests can also approximate it as well, it is called a Fibrotest and Actitest. They used to do liver biopsy as well, but they aren't doing them nearly as much as they did a few years ago. You will need to be tested for Hepatitis B as well. If you have ever had Hep B, the blood test will show your antibody status. It's a good idea to be vaccinated for Hepatitis A and B at some point as a precaution. Once done you will be protected if exposed in the future. You don't want to have differing types of hepatitis at the same time! Once you meet with a doctor all of this is standard practice before you start treatment, so don't worry about having to make these arrangements yourself. That's what your healthcare team is there to help you navigate. 

They can't deny you insurance coverage based on this disease. Life insurance is another issue if you don't have it already. They can turn you down for a hang nail and do. Just know that the rates of success from treatment are nearing 95-100%, so Hep C isn't the same scary problem it was. I think most insurance companies are coming around and understand that. Again, don't worry about any of that right now. Doesn't help anyway. There are ways to obtain treatment in other countries. Right now there are generic drugs that can be obtained from Australia and India, but you still have to go through the testing process, obtain a prescription and have a doctor here that will follow your care. There are also payment assistance programs available through the drug manufacturers and private organizations. Not having insurance is very often a plus when dealing with those programs. They require all the testing and prescriptions as well. Your doctor can help you with the required documentation on that if required to go that route. In my signature line there is a link to that information. 

Be sure to utilize our search function at the top. A couple of key words and you'll find discussions we've had on various things. Be sure you look at the dates of everything you read. If it's an old thread, the information may be out of date and not apply. There's a lot of information here and if you need help finding anything, be sure to ask and I'll do my best to direct you to the latest data.

Look at your testing results and if there's anything you'd like to share, feel free to post it. I suggest setting up your signature line with that information, there is also a link in my signature to assist you in doing that. You won't have to repeat it each time someone asks. It's very helpful for us when replying. 

It's always a shocker to get told you have Hep C, but there has never been an easier or better time to find out. These new treatments are uber effective and relatively side effect free. Take care and stay in touch! You'll beat this, I guarantee it!



63 yo GT1A - 5 Mil - A2/F3 - (1996) Intron A - Non Responder, (2013) Peg/Riba/Vic SOT:05/23/13 EOT:12/04/13 SVR 5+ years!

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Status: Offline
Posts: 1

Hello Everyone,

Recently, a free clinic that I was attending had me test for hep c and I have a HCV/ RNA of 125,000 IU/L. I do have symptoms of fatigue, digestive problems, joint pain.

Currently, I don't have health insurance, but I am looking into getting one as soon as possible.

I would appreciate if anyone can provide any advice.

- What would be the tests which should be done,

- Would I have trouble getting a health insurance?

- Would the health insurance cover for tests and treatment?

_ how effective is the treatment in other (lower costs) countries?

Your advice is highly appreciated since I am a little worried and I am trying to determine what would be the best course of action

Thank you All and wish you all the best


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