Everything About HEPATITIS C and Its Cure

What is Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by Hepatitis C Virus or HCV. Nearly 3.5 million people suffer from this disease in the US alone. Nearly 70% to 80% of the acute infection cases do not display any sort of symptoms at all. This disease is termed as the silent or invisible disease because there aren’t any symptoms in a majority of cases and even if there is the symptoms are rather common.

The disease causes liver disease and in several cases the liver cirrhosis. Chronic infection can be cured in more than 90% of the cases and in some cases where there is liver cirrhosis is extreme a transplant is required.

Symptoms:

Hepatitis C is known as a silent or invisible disease because most victims don’t show any symptoms at all and if they most of its symptoms are so common that one doesn’t realize that are suffering from Hepatitis C until much later. Nearly 70% to 80% of the patients do not show any symptom at all. The symptoms are mild and flu like with fever along with the ones mentioned below:

-Jaundice: This is the most common symptom, it includes yellow eyes and skin along with dark colored urine.

-Stomach pain: as mentioned above the symptoms of this disease done stand out and symptoms include something as common as stomach pain.

-Joint and muscle pain: Muscle and join pain is another common symptom that most patients suffer.

-Itchy Skin: If you have been suffering from itchy skin for over six weeks along with any of the above mentioned skin please consult a doctor.

-Abnormalities in urine and bowel movement

-Loss of appetite: Again a very common symptom that is induced from a variety of reasons including stress. But if you suffer from loss of appetite with jaundice and the other symptoms please do get yourself checked.

-Nausea: Vomiting and squishiness, another common symptom which when combined with stomach ache can give a wrong diagnosis.

-Fatigue: Tiredness. Again another symptom which when accompanied with the above four symptoms may be assumed as an after effect of Jaundice.

Ways it can spread:

You can get this disease if you:

– Share drugs and needles

-Have unsafe sex with multiple partners who have STD and HIV infections and rough sex.

-Use used needles that is previously used by person suffering from Hepatitis C. -From a mother to her child: A pregnant mother can pass this infection to her unborn child.

-Blood transfusion: if you receive blood from a person infected with this disease.

Precautions:

What doesn’t cause Hepatitis C:

– Hugging

-Kissing

-Coughing

-Sneezing

-Sharing utensils or glasses

-Sharing food and water

-Casual contact

-Breastfeeding your baby if you are detected with Hepatitis C, but please ensure that your nipples aren’t cracked and bleeding.

What not to share:

-Anything that could possibly have your blood on it, which includes razors, toothbrushes, nail clippers etc.

-Don’t share needles or similar equipment’s with others. Also if you are doing drugs, that too injectable street drugs please opt for a treatment program.

-Do not donate blood, organs, tissue or semen.

-Anything that could possibly have your blood on it, which includes razors, toothbrushes, nail clippers etc.

Be extra careful with:

-Open wounds, blisters, cuts or sores and cover them with bandages, and do not let it come in contact with others.

-Dispose of tampons, sanitary napkins, tissues, used bandages, and anything else that might have your blood on it.

-Clean spilled blood from surfaces with a bleach.

-Thoroughly wash hands and any object that comes in contact with your blood with soap.

Sex and Hepatitis C:

Hepatitis C can spread through sexual intercourse, but it’s a rare phenomenon. In fact, according to CDC, if you are monogamous, the risk is rather low extremely rare that they don’t even recommend the use of condom. Also, Hepatitis C doesn’t spread through oral sex. But if you have multiple partners, it is advisable that you protect your partner with the use of a condom.

Cure –Harvoni®:

Hepatitis C Medications:

Hepatitis C is an infection in the liver caused by the presence of the virus called HCV or hepatitis C virus. Just as there are different blood groups, this disease is also categorized into genotypes numbered from 1 through 6. According to statistics, about 75% of the HCV affected patients have are diagnosed with the genotype 1 HCV. There are no vaccinations available in the case HCV and can only be prevented from cautious activities when near already affected patients. It can be prevented by avoiding contact with infected fluids, or sharing needles as the disease can spread through physical contact. There are many drugs that are prescribed by specialists who treat for HCV. One among those is harvoni® which is a suitable drug for HCV genotypes 1, 4, 5 and 6. HARVONI® is a combination of two antiviral medications named ledipasvir and sofosbuvir. These prevent the multiplication of the Hepatitis C virus within the body. Before the physician is prescribing the medicine to HCV affected person, he/she will consider several factors like the treatment history in case he has already been treated for this disease, level of virus within the body, allergies to any of the components in the drug and extent of damage to the liver. In case this medicine has to be combined with another drug called ribavirin, it might affect pregnancy. The drug when prescribed separately does not affect the unborn baby and does not pass on to the infants through breast milk. Also it is not researched whether this drug is safe for children below the age of 18 years. The prescribed dosage for the drug is one pill a day and the most commonly suggested treatment cycle is a period of 12 weeks and the patients is advised to take the medicine at the same time every day.

Survey Shows Rise in Depression, Suicidal Thoughts in US Teens

A nationwide survey of teenagers in the United States has revealed a rise in fear and despair among them, with one in seven admitting to the misuse of prescription drugs. Since 2007, there has been a rise in the number of teenagers reporting feelings of dejection and despair. Suicidal tendency and absenteeism in school have gone up due to the fear of bullying and violence. The trend has been noteworthy in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in high schools.

Countrywide, one out of five students reported facing bullying at school, one in 10 females and one in 28 male students reported having been subjected to forced sexual activity. Dr. Jonathan Mermin of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which conducted the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, said that the life of an adolescent can be challenging. However, a huge number of students admitting to persistent feeling of hopelessness and 17 percent contemplating suicide tell the sad state of affairs.

In 2007, 28 percent of teenagers reported to have suicidal feelings, which rose to 31 percent in 2017. Similarly, 14 percent of teens made suicide plans in 2017 as against 11 percent in 2007. The survey, conducted every two years, involved 15,000 high school students across 39 states. It asks questions pertaining to a wide range of activities and attitudes.

There were some positive observations as well. Compared to a decade ago, fewer teens reported indulging in sexual activity, consuming alcohol or taking drugs like marijuana, heroin, and cocaine. Since the question related to prescription opioid was asked for the first time, the researchers couldn’t tell if the one in seven exhibited an increase or a decline.

The executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors and a social worker, David Harvey, said that irrespective of the absence of a comparison, these figures suggest that opioids must be contributing to the lesser explored impact on the lives of adolescents. For example, opioid use could be contributing towards the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in this age group.

Harvey pointed out that in 2007, at least 62 percent of teens reported having used condoms the last time they had an intercourse compared to 54 percent of teens in 2017. This decline along with the use of prescription drugs signals towards a teenager’s susceptibility to STDs like HIV and Syphilis. As many as 39 percent of students had sex in 2017 compared to 48 percent in 2007.

There was also a decline in the percentage of students encountering sexual dating violence from 10 percent in 2013 to 7 percent in 2017. This, along with a decline in the intake of alcohol and drugs, represented the wiser choices made by the students. The experts suggested that family support, especially the parental attention can make a lot of difference in an adolescent’s life. Further, an increased access to mental health and substance abuse resources can also make a lot of difference. Schools can contribute by offering coping skills and bystander intervention training.

Among the LGBT teens, there was increased incidence of risky behavior as their sense of physical and emotional well-being is threatened. In comparison to 2015, a higher number of gay, lesbian and bisexual teenagers reported having been raped. They also reported having missed school because of their concerns regarding their own safety.

Dealing with the double whammy

Teens are impressionable. They are at a juncture where they can fall prey to drugs easily which can have an impact on their mental health. On the contrary, they can resort to addictive substances to deal with their mental problems. Such a simultaneous occurrence of these problems is termed as co-occurring disorders or dual diagnosis, which requires immediate intervention.

STD Testing at a Glance

You could be wondering if you need a test for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or you might be wondering if your partner needs one. Or perhaps you are simply interested in learning more about STD testing. Whatever the reason may be, going to a STD clinic will be advantageous since they have all the necessary information you might ask about testing for STD.

STD testing is done through various ways. When you go to a STD clinic to be tested for STDs, they would start by asking you questions about your risk factors. After assessing what diseases you may be at risk for, they will test you for those conditions. Anyone with a new partner or multiple partners should be screened for chlamydia and gonorrhea, but testing for other STDs is usually done at the health practitioner’s discretion.

Many private medical practitioners do not screen for sexually transmitted diseases unless you specifically ask them to do so. That is why it is better to go to a STD clinic since they offer STD tests and are solely dedicated to this task. Their services are confidential and 100% reliable. You must go to a STD testing center and ask your health care provider to give you an STD test. Some people assume they will be tested for STDs when they have an exam for another reason when they visit their doctors and this is entirely false. STD tests are only done upon request unless you are suffering grave symptoms already. Unfortunately, most STDs do not manifest symptoms until they are too late.

If you have symptoms of an STD, it’s important to be tested since you are not sure if the symptoms are of a STD or something else. Common symptoms of STDs include sores, discharge from the genitals, itching, and burning sensation during urination or sexual intercourse. However, on should remember that most infections often do not cause any symptoms. Going to an STD clinic and getting routinely tested is the surest way to diagnose if you have an STD or not.

There are a lot of STDs out there, and the types of STD treatment are as varied as their symptoms. Remember, however, if you think you have an STD, the only person who can tell you that confidently is your healthcare provider. Treatment is decided based on what STD you have and depending on what suits your needs the best. Going to STD clinics and getting tested and treated early can save you a great deal of pain later on.

For cases such as HIV, you should be tested at the first prenatal visit, and then again in the third trimester. Women who were not tested during the course of their pregnancy should be rapidly tested at the time of delivery. Syphilis should also be tested at the first prenatal visit and during the third trimester for high risk women only, and at the time of delivery. Go to a nearby STD testing site and ask for these STD tests when you are pregnant.

Infertility and STDs – Two Important Factors Affecting a Woman

The growing concern about infertility and STDs are fast becoming major issues among women. Although infertility can be associated with various factors such as unhealthy lifestyle, weight problems, smoking, unsafe sex and sexual practices and alcohol, there is one ground deemed to generate the most risk of all – sexually transmitted diseases.

Gonorrhea also known as the pus discharge is one of the most common STD that affects women to become sterile. As the bacterium present in this infection multiplies and develops in moist areas of sensitive parts of a woman’s body, the chances of the cervix, fallopian tubes, uterus and the urine canal to get affected is high. The bacterium can spread in the uterus area that might result to a disease known as the pelvic inflammatory disease. When this happens, infertility can be a typical outcome.

Be aware of the symptoms of this sexually transmitted disease through the following signs that can greatly affect you being unproductive and childless.

o If you experience intense bleeding even during your menstrual period then you have significant probability of having STD that lowers your chances of bearing a child.

o Thick discharge can also be a major symptom.

o Soreness, inflammation and genital itching are other factors to be alarmed about.

Infertility and STDs are two aspects that affect a woman’s likelihood of being heavy with a child. It is important therefore, that you lead a healthy lifestyle away from vices, always practice safe sex and most importantly have yourself protected through vaccinations.

However, if you already infected with std, does it mean that you will never have children? Find out the truth from other people with STDs.