HCV
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HCV

Although there isn’t an available vaccination for HCV, there are available treatments on the market! Image by: Freedigitalphotos.net

Experiencing latent infection isn’t easy, and is a constant struggle on an everyday basis. As Jennifer Hudson once said: “Gaining control over your health and well-being is one of those times in your life that you get to be completely selfish and not feel bad about it. If you want to meet your goals, you have to make it about you [1].”

Although gaining control over latent infections isn’t an easy task, it is very much important so we control our health and well being.

There are various types of latent infections, yet, the main one I’d like to focus on is the Hepatitis C infection.
Let’s begin by understanding what Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is all about. The virus causes an infectious disease mainly in the liver, which eventually leads to health problems in the liver or even liver cancer [2,3].

Ok, so now you’re probably asking yourselves “ how can I be infected with Hepatitis C virus??” It turns out that transmission is mainly by blood to blood contact. So if you’re a health care worker, or planing on getting a new tattoo or piercing, you should be extra careful [4,5].

And not only that, if you by any chance share personal care items with your close buddies such as razors, toothbrushes, and manicuring or pedicuring equipment, keep in mind that those items may be contaminated with blood- so you should avoid sharing them. Mother to newborn child transmission is uncommon and may happen during pregnancy or child delivery [6].

Interestingly, it is unclear whether Hepatitis C is transmitted through sexual activity, so you should always use a condom [7]!

Although there isn’t an available vaccination for HCV, there are available treatments on the market!

Although there isn’t an available vaccination for HCV, there are available treatments on the market!

Until recently, the combination of two mediactions named pegylated interferon (IFN)-α and ribavirin, was the standard treatment for chronic HCV infections, however, their effectivness is an average of about 60%.

Lately, two new drugs were approved, named telaprevir and boceprevir, with better results. However, the combinations of the older treatment with new treatment were associated with additional side effects, increased costs, and more complex treatment strategies. There are the newly approved drugs including Sovaldi, Harvoni, which are effective, yet highly expensive.

Furthermore, a drug named Viekira Pak has been recently approved by the FDA, which treates Hepatitis C patients with genotype 1 infection (genotype 1 being the harderst type to treat), including those with liver cirrhosis [9,11].

What’s good about Viekira Pak is that it is about 12% cheaper than Harvoni and Solvadi treatmentrs, which enables ferocious competition over HCV patients [10], and, with new competition, the price of (Sovaldi) will probably decrease. In terms of natural treatment there are two antiviral remedies which are very effective named Novirin and Gene Eden- VIR [8].

It seems that as time goes by, more and more treatments undergo development and improvement, however, we must remember that these treatments are not worth much without a positive attitude, motivation and desire to get better.

 

 

 

References:
1. Jennifer Hudson ,I Got This: How I Changed My Ways and Lost What Weighed Me Down, 201
2. Ryan KJ, Ray CG M. Sherris Medical Microbiology (4th ed.) United States of America: McGraw-Hill, 2004 Published. Print.
3. Wilkins, Thad, et al. “Hepatitis C: diagnosis and treatment.” Am Fam Physician81.11 (2010): 1351-1357.
4. de Almeida Pondé, Robério Amorim. “Hidden hazards of HCV transmission.”Medical microbiology and immunology 200.1 (2011): 7-11.
5. Jafari, Siavash, et al. “Tattooing and the risk of transmission of hepatitis C: a systematic review and meta-analysis.”International Journal of Infectious Diseases 14.11 (2010): e928-e940.
6. Lam, NC; Gotsch, PB, Langan, RC (2010-11-15). “caring for pregnant women and newborns with hepatitis B or C”
7. Davison, John W., et al. “Effectiveness of a hepatitis C group education class in Veterans Administration treatment settings.”The 2005 National Viral Hepatitis Prevention Conference. 2005.
8. Gene-Eden-VIR is Antiviral: Results of a Post marketing clinical study. Published in September 2013. scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?PaperID=36101#.VE44nyKUf90
9. FDA.gov – FDA approves Viekira Pak to treat hepatitis C. Published December 19, 2014.
10. (3) Edney, A., Chen, C. “AbbVie Prices Hepatitis C Drug 12% Below Gilead Rival” – Bloomberg.com. Published December 20, 2014.
11. Arnold, E. “A new drug challenges pricey Hep C cure.” Bizjournals.com – Published December 22, 2014.

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