Hepatitis C

Essay by SashimiA+, January 2005

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Hepatitis C

I have decided to talk to you today about Hepatitis C, a viral infection that has reached epidemic proportions in Canada and the United States.

Like most of you, I knew next to nothing about Hepatitis until someone close to me was diagnosed with it.

My brother was diagnosed with Hepatitis C ten years ago and I have had to watch him struggle with the debilitating effects of this illness since that time.

After years of investigating different forms of treatment, he has discovered that his body will tolerate none of the conventional medical treatments and he now manages his disease by diet and vitamin supplements to the best of his ability.

Hepatitis C is a viral infection that usually attacks the liver but can manifest elsewhere.

Until 1989, when HCV was identified, the remaining Hepatitis viruses were referred to as non /A non /B Hepatitis. This discovery of HCV prompted immediate development of a screening device and in 1990 screening of HCV was implemented throughout blood banks.

In 1992 testing sensitivity was increased dramatically.

Quite simply, Hepatitis C is a disease caused by the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) which has infected your liver. A virus is a very small organism that attaches itself to your healthy cells and forces them to make more of the virus. Your body tries to fight viruses with antibodies, but the Hepatitis C virus is particularly strong; it will change to fight back against your body's defenses.

Unfortunately, antibiotics, which kill bacteria are not at all effective against viruses.

Although HCV is four times more common than HIV, due to the lack of public awareness, it is sometimes referred to as "The Silent Epidemic".

It is the #1 cause of liver transplants in the United States & Canada.

Over 4...