I have a friend who was just diagnosed with Hep C. He says it's WORSE than AIDS because AIDS can be controlled with medication.

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    May 06, 2012 3:07 PM GMT
    Is he nuts or is it that bad?
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    May 06, 2012 5:37 PM GMT
    it's a different 'that bad'. Hep C becomes chronic in almost 85% of cases. it can be treated with pegylated interferon and ribavirin, but the treatment is brutal... 24 weeks if the patient isn't co-infected with HIV, 48 weeks if they are co-infected with HIV. hep C genotype 1 should also be treated with one of two new protease inhibitors (telaprevir, boceprevir) if after starting treatment with the other two drugs full suppression of the virus isn't achieved 'early' (around 4 weeks). The protease inhibitors worsen the side effect profile of the treatment regimen. if a patient can be treated within 6 months of infection with hep C, his chance of treatment success (clearance of the virus) increases significantly. all chronic hepatitis patients have a significantly increased risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma in their lifetime. risk of cirrhosis is high without successful treatment.

    btw, HIV is a serious condition, but patients that take their medications religiously do well and can live an essentially normal lifespan. we are beyond the 'death and destruction' 1980s and 1990s with regard to HIV. that doesn't mean go out and take risks, but we are doing much better controlling it as a chronic condition. also, AIDS is not the same thing as HIV infection.
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    May 06, 2012 9:05 PM GMT


    Hepatitis C Death Rate Creeps Past AIDS
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    May 06, 2012 9:19 PM GMT
    He would be correct. hepatitis is far worse becasue of the advnaces in HIV medications. A great deal of work has bene put into creating a successful Hep C vaccine (which would join the existing Hep A and B vaccines) and the researchers are inching closer to success in that department....then there Hep's D though J that no one hears about becasue they are rare at this point, but up and coming.
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    May 06, 2012 9:21 PM GMT
    I don't understand why people seem to be constantly downplaying the severity of HIV/AIDS.
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    May 06, 2012 9:27 PM GMT
    7Famark saidI don't understand why people seem to be constantly downplaying the severity of HIV/AIDS.


    It's still severe but not as severe as it was 25 years ago. Hepatitis has long been a quiet problem and it even propmted a medical leader in the early 90's to point out the only reason no one cared about hepatitis, which was a great public health threat (I'll expplain why in a minute), was because it wasn't sexy.

    The nice thing about HIV is it is really "a very wimpy bug" (I am quoting my microbiology and immunology prof from Duke Medical here) because HIV dies as soon as it leaves the body. The virus must have blood contact to live. So, you can cum or bleed on a counter top and wipe it up and not worry about anything becasue the HIV has died within minutes of hitting the countertop. Hepatitis, on the other hand, is far more virulent and it remains alive up to 48 hours after hitting the same counter top, making it a far easier transmission.
  • CuriousJockAZ

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    May 06, 2012 9:28 PM GMT
    swimguychicago saidIs he nuts or is it that bad?


    Hasn't slowed down Pamela Anderson icon_rolleyes.gif
  • jtcrew65

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    May 06, 2012 9:31 PM GMT
    Advancements are being made with using antiviral cocktails for hep c, most are just based on 1 genotype of the virus so they aren't as effective against some other genotypes. So his chances of a cure will depend on the type of hep c he has. A lot of new hep c drugs are on the market or are coming to market soon.
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    May 06, 2012 9:31 PM GMT
    I'm aware of the transmission routes.

    My point is that regardless of the fact that there are medications than can slow/stop the progression of the virus...many of those medications aren't without complications. Not to mention that it isn't uncommon to have to switch medications if the strain of HIV becomes resistant...

    It isn't as simple as people saying "Oh well if I contract it I'll just take medication and it won't matter."
  • bad_wolf

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    May 06, 2012 9:44 PM GMT
    My first thought is that your friend’s statement maybe not be out of medical curiosity but snowballing fear. He's just be diagnosed, probably doing some research online and hearing all the testimonies from patient's.

    The negative ones are probably playing on his mind, he probably see himself going through the cumulative symptoms of everything he reads.

    I don't think it's a question of which is worse, both diseases are pretty bad. I don't think he needs an answer to that question, just support and reassurance. Triple therapy with telaprevir, ribavirin and pegylated interferon alfa-2a/b has had positive results and patient's have had undetectable viral loads even after discontinuing treatment. He needs a light and the end of the tunnel and I think he needs someone to pull him out of this thought pattern before a depressive states sets in.
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    May 06, 2012 10:01 PM GMT
    MuscledHorse said
    7Famark saidI don't understand why people seem to be constantly downplaying the severity of HIV/AIDS.


    It's still severe but not as severe as it was 25 years ago. Hepatitis has long been a quiet problem and it even propmted a medical leader in the early 90's to point out the only reason no one cared about hepatitis, which was a great public health threat (I'll expplain why in a minute), was because it wasn't sexy.

    The nice thing about HIV is it is really "a very wimpy bug" (I am quoting my microbiology and immunology prof from Duke Medical here) because HIV dies as soon as it leaves the body. The virus must have blood contact to live. So, you can cum or bleed on a counter top and wipe it up and not worry about anything becasue the HIV has died within minutes of hitting the countertop. Hepatitis, on the other hand, is far more virulent and it remains alive up to 48 hours after hitting the same counter top, making it a far easier transmission.


    But unlike AIDS, Hep C is transmitted almost exclusively through blood to blood contact and rarely via sexual intercourse or from exposure to other infected body fluids, making it harder to transmit.

    There is no need to make it out to be some kind of boogie man. Because unless you are taking the blood from the countertop and then smearing it into your own open wounds, the risk of transmission is extremely low.
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    May 06, 2012 10:23 PM GMT
    Bottom line: What do I tell him?
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    May 06, 2012 10:35 PM GMT
    As a friend just let him tell you what he wants... don't argue about who has it worse people with AIDS or people with Hep C, that isn't going to help him any. He probably feels like his life has been turned upside down, all you can do is be there to support him.

    Hep C isn't a walk in the park, but it's not a death sentence either. My dad was diagnosed over 30 years ago, before I was born and even before he met my mother, there is no reason he can't live a full life, he just need to take preventative measures and protect his liver, so no more beer or alcohol I’m afraid.

    If his social life used to revolve around drinking/bars and clubs, maybe you can be proactive in setting up social events that are alcohol free.
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    May 06, 2012 10:45 PM GMT
    Stuttershock said
    MuscledHorse said
    7Famark saidI don't understand why people seem to be constantly downplaying the severity of HIV/AIDS.


    It's still severe but not as severe as it was 25 years ago. Hepatitis has long been a quiet problem and it even propmted a medical leader in the early 90's to point out the only reason no one cared about hepatitis, which was a great public health threat (I'll expplain why in a minute), was because it wasn't sexy.

    The nice thing about HIV is it is really "a very wimpy bug" (I am quoting my microbiology and immunology prof from Duke Medical here) because HIV dies as soon as it leaves the body. The virus must have blood contact to live. So, you can cum or bleed on a counter top and wipe it up and not worry about anything becasue the HIV has died within minutes of hitting the countertop. Hepatitis, on the other hand, is far more virulent and it remains alive up to 48 hours after hitting the same counter top, making it a far easier transmission.


    But unlike AIDS, Hep C is transmitted almost exclusively through blood to blood contact and rarely via sexual intercourse or from exposure to other infected body fluids, making it harder to transmit.


    ouch.... very dangerous comment. not true at all. in the medical community we used to believe that hepatitis C was not spread sexually. we now know this not to be true. you definitely CAN spread hepatitis C sexually. it's easily transmitted in the fisting community through microscopic or gross (as in 'quantity') amounts of blood on chapped skin or hangnails. it's also transmitted in semen, so people should think of HCV like they think of HIV when making decisions about how to protect themselves.
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    May 06, 2012 10:54 PM GMT
    Uhm...the general population isn't into being turned into a human puppet.. icon_eek.gif
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    May 06, 2012 10:57 PM GMT
    7Famark saidUhm...the general population isn't into being turned into a human puppet.. icon_eek.gif


    no but they do share body fluids.
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    May 06, 2012 11:18 PM GMT
    rightasrain said
    7Famark saidUhm...the general population isn't into being turned into a human puppet.. icon_eek.gif


    no but they do share body fluids.


    The scenario you describe is still blood to blood.... blood from one persons broken hangnails, through to the broken rectal walls caused from fisting. That is not the same as saliva or semen.

    If Hep C is transmitted via semen it is most likely from blood contamination from the urethra.

    http://www.hepatitis-central.com/hcv/hepatitis/absence.html

    "The hepatitis C viral genome was not detected in any saliva or semen sample. These findings suggest that body fluids of patients with chronic hepatitis C are rarely, if ever, contaminated with the hepatitis C virus. This may help to explain the infrequent transmission of this disease by sexual or close physical contact."

    Again I said it was rarer for transmition to occur from sex, not that it never happens. I'm sorry I didn't make it clearer, but your friend still should use a condom. Also, maybe he should cut back on the amount of fisting he practises.
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    May 06, 2012 11:24 PM GMT
    Stuttershock said
    rightasrain said
    7Famark saidUhm...the general population isn't into being turned into a human puppet.. icon_eek.gif


    no but they do share body fluids.


    The scenario you describe is still blood to blood.... blood from one persons broken hangnails, through to the broken rectal walls caused from fisting. That is not the same as saliva or semen.

    If Hep C is transmitted via semen it is most likely from blood contamination from the urethra.

    http://www.hepatitis-central.com/hcv/hepatitis/absence.html

    "The hepatitis C viral genome was not detected in any saliva or semen sample. These findings suggest that body fluids of patients with chronic hepatitis C are rarely, if ever, contaminated with the hepatitis C virus. This may help to explain the infrequent transmission of this disease by sexual or close physical contact."

    Again I said it was rarer for the transmisson, not that it never happens. But please advise your friend that a condom is still needed and maybe he should cut back on the amount of fisting he practises.


    not sure what friend you're referring to. i have patients that engage in fisting, but i don't think i have friends that are into it.

    medical evidence supports transmission by semen. i see it in practice. we have lots of seroconversions who have no known 'classic' risk factors (IVDU, blood transfusions, exposure to blood). the semen doesn't have to be contaminated with blood for transmission. some new(er) literature research might be helpful.

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    May 06, 2012 11:33 PM GMT
    I'm sorry, I was referring to the OP's friend.

    Maybe I am operating under old information (it has been a while since I had to read through it) So maybe you can point me to some more up-to-date literature, I’d appreciate that.
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    May 06, 2012 11:44 PM GMT
    Stuttershock saidI'm sorry, I was referring to the OP's friend.

    Maybe I am operating under old information (it has been a while since I had to read through it) So maybe you can point me to some more up-to-date literature, I’d appreciate that.


    HIV-negative partners have lower risk of transmission of HCV 'sexually'. The transmission of HCV among and to HIV+ partners is higher.

    it's estimated that about 2% of the sexual partners of HCV+ persons will get it 'sexually' from their partner. these data are for when both partners are HIV-negative and heterosexual. I haven't seen any data on how that rate of transmission goes up when one or both partners is HIV+ and the anus is the preferred hole. I suspect it is much higher, both because of the HIV and the rectal wall being less of a 'barrier' than the vaginal walls.

    some 'experts' have started calling the spread of HCV the 'new epidemic'. i don't think we need to be alarmist, but we can send consistent messages that if you protect yourself from HIV, you will protect yourself from HCV. i disagree with the intimation in the article below that HIV-negative men are 'safe' (implied) from transmission sexually.

    ==========================

    'Explosion' of Sex-Spread Hepatitis C in HIV-Positive Men
    CDC: Hepatitis C From High-Risk Sex Is 'Widespread' in U.S., Europe, Australia
    By Daniel J. DeNoon
    WebMD Health News
    Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

    July 21, 2011 -- There is an ongoing "explosion" of deadly hepatitis C among men who have sex with men.

    It's spread mainly by anal sex, often enhanced by methamphetamine, according to a report in the July 21 issue of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

    "We are having an explosion of sexually transmitted hepatitis C," study researcher Daniel S. Fierer, MD, of New York's Mount Sinai School of Medicine, tells WebMD. "We have uncovered an emerging epidemic of sexual transmission of hepatitis C. And the main reason is men having anal sex without a condom."

    It's no surprise to experts who treat hepatitis C. Liver cancer and cirrhosis caused by hepatitis C virus (HCV) already is the leading cause of death among people with HIV infection who have access to HIV drugs. Some 30% of Americans with HIV are co-infected with HCV.

    Sexual transmission of HCV among people without HIV is rare, notes Eugene R. Schiff, MD, director of the Center for Liver Diseases at the University of Miami, who was not involved in the Fierer/CDC study. Among heterosexual couples, he says, only 2% of those with HCV infect their partners after 20 years of monogamous marriage.

    The same may be true for men who have sex with men -- if they practice safe sex.

    "Our data do not support sexual HCV transmission between HIV-negative men," Fierer says. "There is reasonable data that HIV-negative men are not part of this epidemic."

    But that's not the case for HIV-positive men, notes Lynn E. Taylor, MD, of Brown University. Taylor was not involved in the Fierer study. In a study published last March, Taylor and her colleagues showed that new HCV infections are relatively common among HIV-positive men who do not use intravenous drugs -- a phenomenon previously reported in Europe and Australia.

    "We have robust evidence of increasing HCV incidence among men who have sex with men who do not inject drugs but do engage in high-risk sexual behaviors," Taylor, who was not involved in the Fierer study, tells WebMD. "It is the new sexually transmitted infection in this population. I am very concerned."

    Schiff notes that when HIV-positive men get HCV, they have much higher levels of the hepatitis C virus in their blood. Taylor and Schiff warn that hepatitis C infection progresses quickly in people with HIV infection.

    "These men are sitting ducks for liver cancer," Taylor says. "If they don't get treated and get HCV eradication, they are at risk of cirrhosis or liver cancer. ... We are seeing tons of gay men newly diagnosed with HIV, and then with HCV. I could go to a funeral of an HCV patient every week."
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    May 07, 2012 3:56 AM GMT
    Three questions. First, how deadly is this thing.? Two, can I get it from using the same cup? Three what should my friend do in terms of treating it (he's HIV neg)?
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    May 07, 2012 4:10 AM GMT
    Things I've strived to avoid in my life:
    LSD, Heroine, and Ecstasy in the drug department.
    Herpes, Hep C, AIDS/HIV and gonorrhea in the STD department.

    My brother, and brother in law both work for the Dept of Corrections. My older brother always warned me against having unprotected sex with random strangers. In his 12 years in the prison system he's seen inmates actually suffer the pain of a slow agonizing death from Hep C as it causes their livers to swell and eventually burst in their guts. Hep C can live on an untreated surface for years, if you get in contact with it, it will infect you and will kill you, slowly, painfully and certainly. If you're the type of person to risk getting Hep C, or AIDS, then you've got major issues. Noone is immune from freak chance occurrences and is capable of contracting an STD, no matter how treatable or not. If you think that's not your, you're a fcuking idiot.
    If you think talking about the severity of one STD will diminish someone's awareness about another STD, then you're also an idiot. Someone doesn't lose their capacity to understand the gravity of one thing, simply cause he no understands the severity of another thing; nor do they forget to how to reason, simply cause they've learned post on the internet.
  • musclmed

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    May 07, 2012 5:09 AM GMT
    swimguychicago saidThree questions. First, how deadly is this thing.? Two, can I get it from using the same cup? Three what should my friend do in terms of treating it (he's HIV neg)?



    He should speak to his doctor.

    And in response to some of the irresponsible medical rants above. Hep C transmission can be spread by sexual contact. Specifically ano-genital sex acts.

    Just because some of the above took a microbio class doesn't give them the knowledge and clinical context to give advice.

    Muscledhorse:

    Get your money back from that course. you just sound silly
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    May 07, 2012 3:01 PM GMT
    Hep C : Lives outside of the body for upwards of 4 days
    HIV: lasts mere minutes outside of the body

    Conclusion:
    They both are nasty But Im more concerned with HepC ( especially at work)( hospital) then I am with HIV........icon_confused.gif
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    May 07, 2012 3:58 PM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said
    swimguychicago saidBottom line: What do I tell him?


    So, how did your friend get it?

    Through sharing of needles or through sex? I'm sure he must have told you.

    Not like I'm trying to be nosy but if he got it through sexy then it's probably a good idea to let us know so that way people can appreciate that it's easier to get than most people are purporting.


    He denies IV drug use, but he also claims to always be safe. In ten years I've never seen a hint of drug use, but I can't speak to what he does in the bedroom. He's smart so I would have thought he'd always use a condom...