Veterans with Hepatitis C
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  1. #1

    Veterans with Hepatitis C

    I apologize, I did a google search and found a good thread on this subject, but alas, after i logged in for the first time, I can no longer find it.

    Fact: most of the people infected with HCV in the USA are Veterans!

    Fact: most (80%) of those Veterans served during Vietnam or Post-Vietnam years. I am one of those vets.

    There are quite a few factors or incidents, how Veterans became infected. I am learning that Genotype is geographic specific. 1b, 2a, 2b are found mostly in Japan and Korea. 1a is USA and many parts of Europe. Vietnam, SEA, and Australia have genotypes specific to those countries as well.

    For instance, if you got hit with the jetguns at boot camp, dental work, medical procedures, tatoos or got the clap in the USA, then the odds are 1a.

    I got the Japanese bug from being treated for a spinal injury at a Naval Hosptial in Japan...It's a long list though!

    Most of the time you will only be infected with one genotype and you won't catch another one. However you can catch Hep B and that can be a huge problem if you are already infected with Hep-C

    They didn't know about the Hep-C bug until after I got out in 1986. So no one in service during that time could have been diagnosed with HCV. If it was detected at all it would have been Hep (non-a)(non-b). Most of us have gone our merry way without knowing we had it until we got sick from it and our liver was going to hell.

    You can win SC but you will need to have a doctor point to the likelyhood that your risk factors (that you point out in your claim) are service connected. It is called a Nexus and you can't win your Hep-C case without a Nexus. These people have fiqured it out and are helping the rest of us vets get service connection for Hep-C

    I have not won yet, but I won't give up until I do!

  2. #2
    I forgot the link for Worldwide Genotype Distribution:

  3. #3
    I retired from the gun club in 1994 after 20 years. I got shot with the airgun in Quantico around 1972. Totally no symptoms. Then in 2001 a civilian doctor discovered my liver enzymes were wacko. Bingo, hep c, genotype 1a. Went through 3 interations of combo therapy-damn near killed me and I was a raging idiot while the interefon and riboviron poisoned me and the virus. I was lucky and am considered cured and viral free for the last 6 years. I always suspected those airgun shots were the cause but have no proof. Oh well, the odds of beating it were 40-50% for 1a. I thank God for sparring me. The green machine chews you up then spits you out.

  4. #4
    Veterans are winning SC for "Residuals of Hepatitis" solely on the jetguns. The VA is starting to get "it" now!

  5. #5
    7 yrs. of good liver function here after the "treatment"...

  6. #6
    I also was infected with Hep c 1a, I under went my 48 weeks of weekly self injections and so far after 4 yrs my liver function remains normal. The research surely answers some questions I had about how I got infected.

  7. #7
    I was also diagnosed with Hep C (1a) in 2009. I also found out I had late Stage 4 cirrhosis. A bad diagnosis and treatment by the VA using Interferon and Riboviron caused catastrophic liver failure (my MELD score was over 40 just as they found a liver to transplant into me). Six months of hospitalization later, I was released.

    Two years ago, a brand new treatment came out of testing and was approved for use by the VA (yes, I was one of the first guinea pigs). Just because I had a shiny new liver did NOT mean I was cured of Hep C. It is an infectious BLOOD disease. It just happens to eat livers.

    HARVONI has about a 99% cure rate. I have been Hep C free for about a year. If you have Hep C, talk to your doc about getting treated with HARVONI. If you are not eligible for VA medical, GILEAD (the makers of HARVONI) can help with the expensive drug payments:

    If you have Hep C and are a Vet, then I *strongly* recommend the website The owner/operator is a USAF vet who got a double-whammy in Laos -- Hep C from when he was wounded in action and exposed to AO, Agent Blue and other defoliants that messed him up a lot. However, he is the very best source I know for good dope on Hep C, getting SC status through the wickets of the VA and a all around good guy for an Airdale.

    I have not yet proved Service Connected, however I am (actually the live-in War Department) is hard at work making the case. It is complicated (surprise!) because the US Army managed to lose my (Army) medical records. However, y USMC medical records are intact. Time will tell.

    If you are a Korea-Vietnam-Bosnia era Vet, you are at risk of having been exposed to Hep C. There are NO symptoms in the first 3 stages (it can take 30 years or so to develop to Stage 4 from first exposure; e.g., jet-gun innoculations in Boot Camp), so next time you are at the VA, get them to run a liver panel to test for Hep C and your current liver enzymes. It is very literally a matter of life and death. Good luck. PM me if you need help.

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