Sharing My Personal Experiences With Hepatitis C Treatment (Part II)

Read Part I of my story at http://blog.mountsinai.org/blog/hepatitisc-treatment

My name is Andrew Styles and I have Hepatitis C. Hepatitis C is a liver infection caused by a virus. Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver, an organ that carries out over 500 functions that keep you healthy. I just successfully completed a new treatment for Hepatitis C (Hep C) and want to inspire others to get tested and treated. I was treated in the past with serious side effects, but this time was different.

On the new treatment, the only symptom I got was mild fatigue. The new medicine in my treatment, Sofosbuvir (SOVALDI), was approved by the FDA on December 6, 2013, for treatment and cure of Hepatitis C virus. There are different treatments available and the treatment depends on your genotype (which kind of Hep C virus you have), your stage of liver disease and your other health issues. The full treatment that I just completed was Sofosbuvir (SOVALDI) 400 mg tablet once daily, taken with a combination of Ribavirin 600 mg tablet 2 times a day, and Peginterferon alfa-2a (PEGRASYS PROCLICK) 180 mcg/0.5 ml., a once a week injection.

My first injection was on January 15, 2014. Twelve weeks went by with no real discomforts at all. I did not have the side-effects that I had with past treatments. The mild fatigue that I did have was tolerable. I was able to do my usual routine but stopped going to the gym during the treatment. I am now past the end of my treatment, which was on April 9, 2014. So far, there are no signs that the virus has come back but I will not know for sure if I am cured until my post follow-up treatment visit on September 24, 2014. If there are no signs of the virus at the end of treatment and for 6 months afterward, my doctor has told me that the virus is cured for good.

More Information About Hepatitis C in New York

As many as 3.5 million Americans and 146,000 New York City residents may have chronic hepatitis C (see online). More than 75% of adults with HCV are baby boomers from 1945 to 1965 but most don’t know they are infected. Because Hepatitis C is concentrated most in low-income communities, it’s a serious health problem in the black communities throughout the U.S. Blacks are twice as likely to have been infected with Hepatitis C virus (see online). The New York Times printed an article titled Awareness: Hepatitis C Death Rate Creeps Past AIDS on Feb 27, 2014 but Hepatitis C doesn’t trigger the same sense of immediate panic and fear as AIDS. It is time for New Yorkers to understand the importance of Hepatitis C and to get tested and treated.

This information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional. This information is designed to help you understand and manage HCV and is not intended as medical advice. All persons with HCV should consult a doctor or healthcare provider about your options, diagnosis and treatment of HCV.”

Thank you for your interest.

My resources for information on Hep C by my mentors

Jeffrey Weiss, PhD,MS

Associate Professor of Medicine and Director of Primary Care Hepatitis C Program

www.mountsinai.org/PrimaryCareHCV

jeffrey.weiss@mountsinai.org

Donald Gardenier, DNP

Keith M. Sigel, MD

Weiwei Chi, M.D.

Halina Wojcik, MPH, RD, CDN

Catherine Amory, LCSW

212-824-7596

catherine.amory@mountsinai.org

Brauley De La Rosa

Clinical Research Coordinator

Patient Navigator/Outreach Specialist

brauley.delarosa@mountsinai.org

Korin Parrella; Hepatitis C Education and Liver Screening

korin.parrella@mountsinai.org

212-360-7620 – 212-824-7725

Angela Woody; Clinical Research Coordinator

Patient Navigator

angeal.woody@mountsinai.org

Natalie Kil, M.P.H.; Program Manager

Jocelyn Camacho, M.P.H., C.H.E.S.

Additional resources

Additional information on NYS testing law
Additional information on Hepatitis C
Additional Laboratory

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