Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hepatitis C: Infected at Birth Follow The Six Part Series

What is HCV, anyway?
Hepatitis C, or HCV, is a blood-borne virus that infects between 3 and 4 million Americans and about 200 million people worldwide. It causes liver damage, liver cancer and death. For decades, it was a scientific mystery. During the 1960s and 1970s, researchers identified two viruses that inflame the liver. They named one hepatitis A and the other hepatitis B but were puzzled by…
December 12, 2010
My epidemic (part 2 of 6)
A journey toward diagnosis
When I was a kid, phlebotomists dreaded me. Show me a needle - or even hint that one might be in my immediate future - and I'd pitch a fit. Or run for the nearest exit. My attitude didn't improve much as I aged, but when the Red Cross set up a blood drive in my high school gym, I talked myself into giving a…
December 13, 2010
My epidemic (part 3 of 6)
Surviving stigma
The extent of my social problem dawned on me while I was astride a Stairmaster, halfway through my daily workout. The gym was crawling with college kids, grunting, flirting, dropping weights, making plans for the weekend. I bobbed along, eavesdropping and flipping through the May 1999 issue of Cosmopolitan.Tips for…
December 14, 2010
My epidemic (part 4 of 6).
Secret world of support
On more nights than I can count, I've curled up on my couch, balanced my laptop on my thighs and entered a virtual world where everyone knows exactly what it's like to have hepatitis C.There are dozens of online chat rooms, message boards and social networking sites for people with hepatitis C, or HCV, a common…
December 15, 2010
Report to Readers
An epidemic hits home
If you were Meg Heckman's boss or colleague or casual acquaintance, you'd easily imagine her to be the picture of health: She is a runner and a skier. She is careful about what she eats. She has a sunny, can-do attitude and the stamina for long hours of hard work.In the summer of 2008, she told me otherwise: Meg, a longtime Concord Monitor journalist, had lived her entire…
December 9, 2010

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