HBV

Patient Advocate Foundation Launches New Care Line for Hepatitis C Patients

Our friends over at the Patient Advocate Foundation have recently launched a new toll-free care line for people living with hepatitis C.  Case managers on the hotline focus on helping individuals access financial assistance to offset the cost of treatment.

The current reality of hepatitis C is that, while many individuals may be fully aware of their status, a good portion either can’t afford or don’t know how to go about qualifying for treatment.  With the newest hepatitis C medications on the market providing cure rates for certain genotypes in the 95th percentile and above, the need for proactive care and treatment at affordable costs is more important now than ever before.

Individuals living with a chronic infection of hepatitis C can receive case management services via the Patient Advocate Foundation’s Care Line free-of-charge.  The number to call is 1-800-532-5274,  You can also visit their website here.

If you have questions after reading this article, please call our helpline at 1-800-522-HEPC (4372).

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Introducing…Friday’s Fact v. Fiction!

Ever wonder what the real deal is on that herbal supplement reputed to reduce the effects of Hepatitis C?  Or what the true story of why the baby boomer generation is more at risk for infections like viral hepatitis?  Or why people who use illicit drugs are less likely to access health care?

Wonder no longer! Introducing StepUpToHep’s weekly myth-buster, Friday’s Fact v. Fiction!

For our inaugural Friday post, we focus on the facts about Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B vaccinations.

“I’m good.  I’m pretty sure I got all of those shots when I was a kid.”

StepUp says: That might be true, but unless you can verify the following via your medical records, you might still need follow-up doses to be completely vaccinated against Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B:

* 2 doses of Hepatitis A vaccine

* 3 doses of Hepatitis B vaccine

(or)

* 3 doses of combined Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B vaccine (called TWINRIX)

“I don’t want to get the vaccine because I’m afraid it will infect me with a virus.”

StepUp says: The vaccines for Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B will not infect you with either of those viruses.  Contrary to popular thought, these vaccines do not contain live, active virus; rather, they contain killed or inactivated virus designed to generate an immune response.  The bottom line? People who have been fully vaccinated aren’t at risk.

“I waited too long to get my next dose.  I don’t want to have to start all over with the first shot again.”

StepUp says: Most of the time, you don’t need to start over if you missed your return appointment for your next dose, and when you finally do get follow-up doses, your vaccine series will still be considered complete. Getting second or third doses too early is more detrimental to the vaccine’s effectiveness.  If it is recommended for you to start a vaccine series over from the beginning, it is not harmful for you to receive the same dose twice. For more information on vaccine schedules, visit CDC’s Hepatitis Vaccinations Hub.

“There’s a vaccine for Hepatitis C.”

StepUp says: Unfortunately, there isn’t.  But for people living with a Hepatitis C infection, it is important to get Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B vaccinations.  Co-infection with different types of hepatitis can cause increased damage to the liver and can complicate treatment options.

For more information on Hepatitis A, B, and C, check out the ABCs of Hepatitis.

If you’re a parent and have questions about vaccinations for your child, check out Parenting.com’s article, “10 Vaccine Myths – Busted.”

Join us next Friday for more Fact v. Fiction!

If you have questions after reading this article, please call our helpline at 1-800-522-HEPC (4372).