So my sister is really sick. Her liver is failing her - and fast. And from a condition no one is sure what to call yet because she has been too ill to get a biopsy done.

During her last 2 1/2 weeks stay she was given a feeding tube. She’s still young. She hasn’t even turned 30 yet.

She was put through hell - and for a while there…We weren’t sure she was going to make it.

But now she’s home and safe for the time being - though she is still far from recovery. The doctors said that if she isn’t a lot better by September 7th, 2014 then they absolutely will begin the process for a liver transplant. 

Her hospital bills are astronomical - she is a young American adult over the age of 26 so…she has no health insurance. She has to go on Social Security now - something she desperately does not want to do since she loved her job as manager over at her movie theater but there is no way she will be going back to work for at the very least a year.

If you can find it in your hearts to pull out $5 from your wallet I urge you to visit the gofundme account a friend of hers set up:

Sun Beam Suzie

We’re still a ways off - but please. take a look. on the page you can find her beautiful artwork - like this for example:

i beg of you all to click on that link. i beg of you all to reblog this post even if you don’t donate yourself.

she needs help right now, and every tiny itty bitty bit of help counts so much.

Life dumped a truckload of putrid, moldy lemons on Ted Slavin, and Ted Slavin turned right around and made them into a putrid, moldy lemonade empire. Slavin was a hemophiliac…and back in the ’50s — when Slavin was born — a hemophiliac wasn’t expected to live beyond 13. The way to treat the condition at the time was through constant blood transfusions…and it wasn’t until the ’70s that Slavin found out that the never-ending hypodermic gang-banging he’d been on the receiving end of had pumped him chock-full of hepatitis B.

It turns out, Slavin’s diagnosis came at precisely the right time — because by that point, his body had spent two decades producing ludicrous amounts of antibodies to fend off the pesky viral intruders, and the way to test someone for hepatitis B back then was to see how their blood reacted to the very antibodies that Slavin was pumping out in mass quantities. So he stuck a price tag on his blood (10 bucks a milliliter) and went into business with Big Pharma, selling them as much as 500 milliliters a pop — and demand was through the roof.

Now, you’re probably thinking that Slavin was just a savvy businessman who simply took financial advantage of a horrible situation, but bear with us, because this next part is what elevates his story into the realm of true awesomeness: Slavin looked up Baruch Blumberg, the Nobel Prize-winning researcher who had first discovered the hepatitis B antigen and created the test used to detect the disease. Slavin offered Blumberg all the blood he could possibly need for the hefty fee of zero dollars, just so long as it was used for creating a vaccine. A few years later, the first hepatitis B vaccine went into production … all thanks to Slavin’s putrid, moldy lemonade.

5 People Who Overcame the F#@% Out of Awful Disabilities


Dos noticias que juntas dan mucha rabia.

Por un lado los enfermos de Hepatitis C, dónde estan esperando las medicinas desde este verano, y dónde cada día mueren 13 personas. Y por otro lado, el gasto en smartphones y ADSL para los diputados. Mira por dónde, para eso si que hay dinero, pero para lo otro no hay prisa.

No es cuestión de que tengamos diputados en España que tengan que comunicarse con señales de humo, pero ahora mismo tendrían que tener otras prioridades, sobre todo cuando hay vidas en juego y familias pasándolo mal.

$1,000-Hepatitis C Pill Earns Pharma Company A Record-Breaking $2.3 Billion

The launch of Sovaldi, the $1,000-a-day pill for hepatitis C, is shaping up as the most successful ever.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the pill in December. And then Gilead Sciences was off to the races. The company said it sold $2.27 billion worth of Sovaldi in the quarter that ended March 31. $2.27 billion!

The boffo number beat Wall Street’s estimate for the quarter by more than $1 billion.

Sovaldi is the first hepatitis C pill that doesn’t have to be accompanied by interferon for some types of hepatitis. Sovaldi has been found to be remarkably effective, essentially curing 90 percent or more patients with a common form of hepatitis C in 12 weeks.

"Sovaldi’s profile has the potential to transform the treatment of hepatitis C, and the rapid uptake speaks to a significant unmet medical need," Gilead CEO John Martin told analysts and investors during a Tuesday conference call.

But the price of the drug has drawn fire. “The predicted costs of the new oral antiviral agents are as breathtaking as their effectiveness,” said an editorial in a recent issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. “Costs alone cast a pall over the stunning success in achieving the long-hoped-for goal of a safe and effective therapy for hepatitis C.”

Continue reading

Photo: Sovaldi, a daily oral treatment for hepatitis C, costs $1,000 a pill. (Courtesy of Gilead Sciences)

Hepatitis C, now cure rates of up to 100%.

The European Commission has approved Daclatasvir (Daklinza, Bristol-Myers Squibb) to treat adults with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in combination with Sofosbuvir, the company announced today.

Daclatasvir blocks the action of NS5A, a protein essential for HCV replication. It is indicated for adults infected with HCV genotypes 1, 2, 3, and 4. In a news release, the company notes that oral Daclatasvir in combination with oral Sofosbuvir provided cure rates of up to 100% in clinical trials, including in patients with advanced liver disease, genotype 3, and those who have previously failed treatment with protease inhibitors.

Daclatasvir is the first NS5A complex inhibitor approved in the European Union (EU) and provides a “shorter treatment duration (12 or 24 weeks) compared to 48 weeks of treatment with interferon and ribavirin based regimens.

Across clinical studies, Daclatasvir-based regimens have been generally well-tolerated, with low discontinuation rates. The most common adverse effects with daclatasvir when used in combination with other drugs are fatigue, headache, and nausea. The safety of Daclatasvir has been demonstrated in diverse patient populations that include elderly patients, patients with advanced liver disease, post–liver transplant recipients, and patients coinfected with HIV, the company says.

(To read more. To read more about Sofosbuvir).

Like a living board question

Leaving patient’s room on bedside rounds…

Wayfaring: hey intern, did you notice that patient’s tattoos?

Intern: uh, there were a lot of them?

Wayfaring: And they looked pretty homemade. Check a hepatitis panel on him.

Attending: Overkill much?

Wayfaring: You wanna make a bet about it? I’ll take your money. Plus screening is recommended in his age group. PLUS he had mildly elevated LFTs.

Next day in rounds…

Intern: So Mr. Tattoo’s hepatitis panel came back… positive for hep C.

Wayfaring: We have a winner!


Harm Reduction International (HRI) has launched their bi-annual report on the Global State of Harm Reduction. Essential reading for anyone interested in harm reduction and/or global drug policy: http://www.ihra.net/contents/1524

This “miracle drug” can cure 150 million people of Hepatitis C … but there’s one problem

It’s astronomically expensive, and no one wants to pay for it.

For those who suffer from Hepatitis C — an estimated 150–200 million people worldwide — a drug called Sofosbuvir (being sold as Sovaldi) may have seemed like the answer. After gaining approval in the U.S. last December, Sovaldi has been the most effective cure to date when it comes to suppressing the virus. Experts have called it a “major breakthrough” and a “turning point,” and deservedly so — the drug’s success rate speaks for itself. 

Read more | Follow policymic

Even if we aren’t the ones suffering, we too suffer for the pain of our loved ones:

My fiance has hep c and has for about 7 years. We have been together for a year. He was on a pain medicine for all the pain but was getting addicted to it and got off it. Now all symptoms of hep c are coming back. joint pain, knees/legs hurt so bad trouble walking, stomach pain and hurts to touch, headache, depression and sometimes his skin is really sensitive to the touch. I touched his arm yesterday and he jumped and said it hurt. I am so worried for him and scared. Dont know what I can do to help him. he is in so much pain … I just need someone to talk to that understands and has similar symptoms or has had successful treatment to give me hope. I love him and I feel lost.

Can you lend this user some support? Click here: http://hepatitis-c.supportgroups.com/sg/hepatitis-c/my-fiance-has-hep-c-and-has-for-about-7-ye

The Editor-in-Chief of Open Forum Infectious Diseases, Dr. Paul E. Sax, offers good news about Hepatitis C treatment on OUPblog in recognition of the World Health Organization’s World Hepatitis Day. Read his blog post, “World Hepatitis Day: reason to celebrate,” on the history and future of the disease and how we’ve arrived at a 90% cure rate.

I have learned over the past few months that Tumblr only cares about a handful of issues.

  • sexism (including anti-LGBT hate)
  • weight-shaming (including in the cosplay community)
  • racism
  • The mentally handicapped (insert politically correct term here)
  • note: these are what I see on my dash most; don’t kill me

Post about any of these, even negatively, and your notes will explode.  They do have something in common.  These issues will never be experienced by every single person on the planet.  Women experience a different kind of sexism than men do.  Straights aren’t going to get death threats for being straight the way a gay man or woman might for their sexuality.  White people can care about and change racism, but they won’t experience it themselves (tumblr seems to have dubbed this “white privilege”).  Tumblr cares a lot about people with mental-related issues.  Depression, autism, anorexia, etc.  There also seems to be some sort of “privilege” label for those who don’t experience that, but I can’t put my finger on it.   Not everyone goes through weight-shaming, but a chunk of people go through skinny- and fat-shaming.  Once you get to society’s idea of a good weight, those don’t apply to you (except when you run into a special dickhead who thinks everyone’s fat, or your own mind can still shame you).  

Things I have never seen without having to look:

  • Support for any kind of STD

What they don’t seem to care about are things that can affect every single person alive.  Specifically I’m talking about STDs.  There is only a very small community for support.  I haven’t seen a single HIV/AIDs or HepA/B/C support or awareness post on my dash. Ever.  I’ve never seen anyone admit to having an STD the same way everyone so readily talks about their depression, suicide attempts, or obsessive compulsive disorder.  Even tumblr is ashamed of its STD/Is.  Ah, yes, another thing society has bestowed upon us.  Generally, you get these by having sex, which I would think Tumblr would be okay with.  I see people proclaiming pride in their sexual prowess all the time.  When you admit to having an STI, all you’re saying is, “hey, I had sex and this happened.”  There are STIs as simple as BV (bacterial vaginosis; mmm). Most women will get this at least once in her life.  It goes away with a usually short treatment.  I can see people not making  a big deal out of that because it isn’t a huge life event.   Lifelong things like Hepatitis, Herpes, and HIV or AIDs are kind of huge events and big parts of peoples’ lives when they get them.   Yet they’re still looked down upon for it.  Tumblr is a great way for attempting to rid society of stigmas, yet they haven’t seemed to take up this particular cause.  Having an STD/I does not make you a bad person.  Having an STD/I is not a punishment for having too much sex.  Having an STD/I is a thing that we shouldn’t ever be ashamed of.  What happens happens.  

I’ve had my close friends outright fucking refuse to reblog any kind of STI support because it “doesn’t fit their blog”. That hurts.  They’ll post naked people in the act of sex, but they won’t post about the possible things that can come after it.   They’ll post “this is not a costume” or “women aren’t passive aggressive; they’re scared” or “you’re beautiful and perfect and here are ten reason you shouldn’t kill yourself.”  All worthy causes, please don’t get me wrong.  There just seems to still be something shameful about admitting that STD/Is are a thing and that needs to stop. 

Culver’s Root Benefits and Uses

The Native Americans used the plant for its therapeutic properties and for spiritual purposes.

Today, the herb is mostly used as a treatment for chronic constipation and ailments related to the liver and gall bladder such as hepatitis, cholecystitis and jaundice.

It is also used as a remedy for diarrhea, bloating, chronic indigestion and hemorrhoids. More info can be found here: http://www.herbal-supplement-resource.com/culvers-root-benefits.html

Stained liver biopsy micrograph showing hepatocellular carcinoma cells with Mallory bodies (reds and blacks).

Researchers Identify Liver Cancer Progenitor Cells Before Tumors Become Visible

For the first time, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have isolated and characterized the progenitor cells that eventually give rise to malignant hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tumors – the most common form of liver cancer. The researchers found ways to identify and isolate the HCC progenitor cells (HcPC) long before actual tumors were apparent.

Writing in the October 10, 2013 issue of the journal Cell, principal investigator Michael Karin, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology and Pathology, and colleagues report that HcPC take form within dysplastic or abnormal lesions often found in damaged or cirrhotic livers. The liver damage can be due to viral infections like hepatitis or from chronic alcohol abuse.

“It was never established whether dysplastic lesions are just a regenerative (healing) response of the liver triggered by tissue damage or are actually pre-malignant lesions that harbor tumor progenitor cells,” said study co-author Debanjan Dhar, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher in Karin’s lab. “Here we show that HcPC are likely derived from dysplastic lesions, can progress to malignant tumors and further demonstrate that the malignant progression of HcPC to full-blown liver cancer depends upon the microenvironment that surrounds them.”

The researchers were able to characterize HcPC based on several biomarkers that distinguish them from normal cells. They also identified cellular signaling pathways activated in HcPC that are critical “to their malignant potential,” said Dhar.

More here

Today is World Hepatitis Day!

The Health Department, the Fund for Public Health in New York and five community partners – the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, Cornell Medical College, VNSNY Choice and HealthFirst – announced today that they have received a $10 million Health Care Innovation Award from the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services to focus on hepatitis C (HCV).

Project INSPIRE NYC (Innovate & Network to Stop HCV & Prevent complications via Integrating care, Responding to needs and Engaging patients & providers) aims to achieve:

  1. Better care, by increasing the number of patients starting hepatitis C therapy, strengthening management of behavioral health problems, reducing hospitalizations and emergency department visits, and maintaining a high level of satisfaction among enrollees;
  2. Better health, with increased hepatitis C cure rates, fewer hepatitis C-related complications, and increased screening for depression and alcohol abuse; and
  3. Lower costs, by reducing expenses from preventable hospitalizations, emergency department visits, and complications of hepatitis C infection.

Hepatitis C Facts:

  • An estimated 146,500 New Yorkers have chronic hepatitis C, though about half do not know that they are infected.
  • Hepatitis C is a liver disease that results from infection with the hepatitis C virus. It can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, lifelong illness.
  • Hepatitis C is usually spread when blood from a person infected with hepatitis C enters the blood stream of someone who is not infected. Today, people most often become infected with hepatitis C by sharing needles or other equipment to inject drugs. Before 1992, when widespread screening of the blood supply began in the United States, hepatitis C was also commonly spread through blood transfusions.
  • Most people living with hepatitis C have few symptoms of illness until 10 to 30 years after initial infection, when life-threatening complications can develop. People with hepatitis C are at risk for developing cirrhosis, liver cancer, and other types of liver damage.
  • Given unprecedented advances in hepatitis C treatment, a cure has become achievable for most. Treatment is now shorter, less toxic, and more effective than in the past.

NYC Health is releasing a number of new resources including an updated website and site locator, informational video, Risk Assessment postcard, Hep C Facts booklet, and a City Health Information Bulletin for primary care providers, as well as a mobile app. New Yorkers can also text LIVER to 877877 to be connected with Hepatitis C testing and care services.

Read our Press Release for more information and the full resource list.