Hepatitis C is a liver infection caused by the Hepatitis C virus (HCV). Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus. More than 75% of adults infected are baby boomers those born between 1945-1965. Many baby boomers could have gotten infected prior to 1989 when Hepatitis C was discovered from contaminated blood and blood products before universal precautions were adopted and the blood supply was being screened.
Today, most people get new infections of Hepatitis C by sharing needles or other equipment to inject drugs. Sexual transmission and mother-to-child transmission are documented but uncommon except in instances of HIV co-infection. For some people, hepatitis C is a short-term illness but for 75% to 85% of people who become infected with Hepatitis C, it becomes a long-term, chronic infection. Chronic Hepatitis C is a serious disease that can result in long-term health problems, even death. The majority of infected persons might not be aware of their infection because they may not have symptoms. There is no vaccine for Hepatitis C. The best way to prevent Hepatitis C is by avoiding behaviors that can spread the disease, especially injecting drugs.
Assistance for those with Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C and HIV co-infected clients may be eligible for the Virginia Department of Health's treatment assistance program through the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP). The program provides Harvoni, Sovaldi, Viekira Pak and if needed, ribavirin, and payments for associated medical care and labs for uninsured clients or those whose insurance does not cover those medications.
Help4hep 1-877-435-7443 http://www.help4hep.org
Help4hep is a non-profit, peer-to-peer helpline where counselors work with patients to meet the challenges of hepatitis C head-on. Callers talk one-to-one with a real person, typically someone who's had hepatitis C touch their own life. And they talk about the specifics of their particular situation. The phone call, support and information are all provided free of charge.
Help4hep provides information and resources about finding financial help to pay for low cost testing, or finding a free or low cost clinic, or financial help with payments for treatment. Help4hep knows how to find doctors and support groups as well as other resources where you live.
Patient Advocate Foundation Hepatitis C CareLine 1-800-532-5274 http://hepatitisc.pafcareline.org
Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF) – is a non-profit organization providing professional case management services to patients facing healthcare access issues. They provide individualized, sustained assistance to patients diagnosed with Hepatitis C. The CareLine will provide help to patients across the country to resolve healthcare access and insurance issues, at no charge to the patient.
Through the Hepatitis C CareLine, dedicated case managers will serve as a direct resource for Hepatitis C patients assisting them with benefit coordination, educational and financial resources, help accessing the latest available treatment, navigation through the appeals and reimbursement processes, as well as other patient services. This new program joins Patient Advocate Foundation’s existing copayment support for Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C patients offered through its Co-Pay Relief program.
The CareLine offers live service to patients Monday through Thursday from 8:30am – 8:00 pm ET and Friday from 8:30am – 7:00pm ET. Bi-lingual case managers are available to assist Spanish speaking callers.