A big thank you to HCV Advocate for permissions for the current research updates, to all the community organizations that
pitched in, and to Patricia Johnson for her inspiration.
HepCBC 2642 Quadra Street,
PO Box 46009
Victoria, BC V8T 5G7
© HepCBC Hepatitis C Education and Prevention Society, 2012
When a person is infected with hepatitis C, the virus often lives in the liver for decades. It often gives few signs it has entered the body or is attacking the liver. Up to 80% of people who have hepatitis C notice no symptoms.
The virus has reached epidemic proportions, infecting an estimated 242,500 Canadians, 5 million Americans and 180 million people worldwide. Hepatitis C is a leading cause of cirrhosis and liver cancer, and is the most common reason for liver transplants in the United States and Canada.
It can take decades for symptoms such as jaundice, fatigue, dark urine, abdominal pain, loss of appetite and nausea to occur, and at this point the liver may be badly damaged. When the liver is failing badly, often the only option still available is a liver transplant. It is important to get tested before symptoms occur, to allow for early treatment of the disease before too much damage is done.
Among those at greatest risk for hepatitis C are: Hemophiliacs, intravenous drug users, current or past dialysis patients, transfusion/transplant patients, healthcare workers and those engaging in high-risk sexual activities. The CDC estimates that hepatitis C is responsible for approximately twelve thousand deaths per year in the US. The number of deaths from end-stage liver disease is expected to have risen to 30,000 to 40,000 by 2010.
Hepatitis C FAQ is copyright© 1996-2012 by Dr. C.D. Mazoff, PhD, Patricia Johnson, and Joan King on behalf of HepCBC, the HepCAN list, and the HEPV-L Internet Mailing List. Permission is granted to redistribute or quote this document for non-commercial purposes provided that you include an attribution to HEPV-L and HepCBC, the contact address of HEPVL@COMCAST.NET, INFO@HEPCBC.CA or HEPVL-REQUEST@MAELSTROM.STJOHNS.EDU, the FAQ’s version number and date, and at least two locations from which a current version of this FAQ may be retrieved (see Appendix A). For any other use, permission must be obtained in writing from Joan King (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Patricia Johnson (email@example.com).
This is a document whose development is in progress. Please make comments to help improve it. Please send suggestions for additions, corrections, or changes privately to the authors (Patricia Johnson) at address firstname.lastname@example.org, or to Joan King at email@example.com. If you want your contribution to be anonymous, please state so.
HEPV-L is a list devoted to people with chronic hepatitis, and related liver diseases. Its address is HEPV-L@listserv.icors.org; HepCBC can be reached through www.hepcbc.ca.
Subscribe by addressing a message to: firstname.lastname@example.org and in the body of the message, on the first line, type: SUB HEPV-L FIRSTNAME LASTNAME (substituting your name for the first and last name).
Any questions, or problems signing on—or off—the list, please contact one of the listowners at HEPV-Lemail@example.com HepCBC (www.hepcbc.ca) is an association of independent grassroots organizations in British Columbia, Canada, and beyond, dedicated to education and prevention of hepatitis C. It is the home of the hepc.bull.
This document answers frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the hepatitis C virus (HCV), its treatment, and related complications. We have made every effort to provide the most current and most accurate information.
This updated version (FAQ v9.0) reflects the international nature of the hepatitis C community. Although the home of the HEPV-L list is in the US, many of its members come from other parts of the globe. Patricia Johnson (Peppermint Patti), the original author of the FAQ had asked David Mazoff (squeeky), of the HCV Advocate in San Francisco, if he could take over the arduous task of revising and updating the FAQ, and he has passed the torch to Joan King. She lives in Canada, and so this version has quite a bit of information for Canadians. To make the FAQ more accessible to those from countries other than Canada, information relating specifically to Canada has been put in appendices at the end of the document.
Thanks to a grant from the Legal Services Society of British Columbia, this edition includes information on Disability Benefits for residents of BC. Hopefully, this section will expand to include all of Canada. The reader will also note that there is no list of physicians in the US comparable to the list of Canadian physicians given in Appendix D. Anyone wishing to compile this list is welcome to do so. Please contact the authors of the FAQ.
The information presented in this document was written and developed by patients and members of the HEPV-L mailing list. It represents an informal catalogue of accumulated knowledge by people who for the most part are not medical professionals. As this file is developed further, we hope to include references and citations which will document more of the statements that are made here. Much of the information contained in this FAQ was compiled from the varied and personal experiences and opinions on the HEPV-L and HepCAN mailing lists, and from original research published in the hepc.bull.
As useful as this information may be, it must not be considered medical advice, and must not be used as a substitute for medical advice.
And as always, don’t forget to use your common sense. It is important that anyone who has, or thinks they may have, hepatitis should consult with a licensed health care practitioner who is familiar with liver disease and systemic disorders.
Thanks are due to the many contributors to this new official version of the FAQ. Below, in no particular order: Alan Franciscus (HCV Advocate), Brad Kane (HepCBC), Andi Thomas (Hep-C-Alert), Anne Karim, Bruce Bennett, Bryce Brogan, Paul Harvey, Cindy Torchin, David Lang† (HEP Seattle), Frank Smith, Joe Shaw, Joan King (HepCBC), Kathryn Morse, Eileen Caldwell-Martin (FHCQ), Ken Benjamin, Kevin, Kunga Palmo† (USHA), Sue White (Mid Island HepC), Capt. Kevin Donnelly†, Bruce Devenne† (HepCNS), Leslie Gibbenhuck (Children’s Liver Alliance), Marjorie Harris (HepCure), Darlene Morrow (HepC VSG), Lucinda Porter, Pat Buchanan (LiverHope),**Peppermint Patti**, Sara Amber (HEP Seattle), Scott Warren (aka Reezer), C.D. Mazoff, aka “Squeeky” (HCV Advocate), Rivaud (Hepv-l), Sheree Martin (Hep B List), Sybil†, Smilin’ Sandi, Marie Stern, Brian D. Klein (HAAC), John & Matti Kirk, Rick Crane, and our mothers for making us possible.
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