Listen to “During Hepatitis Awareness Month (May)” on Spreaker.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF GETTING TESTED FOR HEPATITIS C
***CDC now recommends universal hepatitis C screening for all U.S. adults***
MAY IS HEPATITIS AWARENESS MONTH AND TODAY WE ARE SPEAKING WITH HEP C SURVIVOR AND ADVOCATE FOR THE COMMUNITY, KAREN. IN 2010 KAREN LEARNED THAT HER LIVER WAS FAILING, AND SHE WAS LATER DIAGNOSED WITH THE HEPATITIS C VIRUS.
FORTUNATELY, SHE MADE A FULL RECOVERY, AND TODAY SHE’S ALL ABOUT HELPING OTHERS. KAREN JOINS US NOW TO DISCUSS WHAT IS HEP C, WHY SCREENING IS SO IMPORTANT AND WHY EVERYONE DESERVES TO AND CAN BE FREE OF HEP C.
KAREN BIO: No last time due to patient confidentiality rules
Karen offers a no nonsense approach to living with hepatitis C. A Hepatitis C survivor, Karen created a liver loving diet and lifestyle that allows her to create awareness and advocate for the hep C community. After receiving successful treatment for hep C in 2012, Karen began a website, ihelpc.com, to encourage and inform other patients by talking about her experience living with liver disease. Karen has also authored The Liver Loving Diet to provide health and nutritional tips for those with liver disease.
Hepatitis C, or hep C, is a viral infection that can cause chronic inflammation and scarring in the liver, leading to long-term health problems. Chronic hep C is also the most common reason for liver transplants in the United States.[i] But that’s not the only reason the virus is considered a major public health problem. Among 2.3 million people living in the US with hep C, 40% don’t even know they have it. [ii],[iii]
Many people who are infected with chronic hep C don’t experience symptoms or have non-specific symptoms, like chronic fatigue. They can be asymptomatic for several decades. And someone infected with the virus can spread it whether they have symptoms or not. 1
Karen, a hep C survivor and advocate for the community, didn’t feel any symptoms of her hep C until after a bike ride, when her feet became numb and her body was swollen. The following day she was admitted to the hospital with liver failure and ultimately was diagnosed with hep C. Karen eventually felt empowered by the knowledge of her diagnosis and decided to take the step to treat her hep C.
There are many factors which could lead a patient to refrain from getting tested for hep C. These may include stigma, not experiencing symptoms, lack of access to treatment or fear of side effects.[iv],[v] The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends one-time testing for all adults over 18 years of age, pregnant women during each pregnancy and those younger than 18 if at risk. 1
Since May is Hepatitis Awareness Month, it’s the perfect time to discuss the importance of getting tested for the infection and find out more about its symptoms.
Interview is courtesy: AbbVie
CDC: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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