7 Reasons You Have NOT Been Tested For Hepatitis C

7 Reasons You Have NOT Been Tested For Hepatitis C

We hear it all the time when we are testing clients for hepatitis C.

“I just went to the Dr. and had labs done.”

People assume hep C is routinely tested for, that it will show up anytime any lab is ordered. The truth is that it doesn’t matter how many vials of blood the Lab Tech sucked out of your arm, if you don’t specifically ask your Dr. for a hepatitis C test, you likely won’t get one. This despite the fact that the CDC recommends EVERYONE born between 1945 and 1965 be tested.

Some reasons you might not have been tested:

Poor Prognosis

Up until a couple years ago the treatment for hep C was harsh, ineffective and long term. Providers don’t like any of that. They want to prescribe a pill and see their patient instantly cured or at least the disease maintained.

Not Lucrative

Hepatitis C isn’t a money maker. The old treatment in particular often brought in low or no income patients who had to be treated with harsh, ineffective drugs that had lots of side effects. What Dr. wants that? A high maintenance patient with low income or ability to pay.

Riff Raff

Many hepatitis C patients are perceived to be or actually are drug users, poor, old veterans, welfare recipients, etc. Hepatitis C is in no way shiny. Perhaps the greatest incentive to work with hepatitis C patients is the reward for extending compassion to people who are forgotten or marginalized. So if you find a provider with a heart to serve people with hepatitis C, you’ve likely found a true servant.

Military

During the 60s and 70s our government inadvertently infected soldiers using the Ped-O-Jet air gun. This gun was used to administer inoculations during military service. The government doesn’t want to take responsibility for this, so it makes sense that testing would often be neglected.

Stigma

There is a huge stigma associated with hepatitis C. The fact that it is infectious scares people, many carriers are poor, people associate it with unsafe sex or IV drug users. Everyone stigmatizes it…politicians, providers, the public, even patients themselves are misinformed and do themselves a disservice by believing and spreading false info about hepatitis C.

Trouble

Providers are right when they maintain people with hepatitis C are high maintenance. Patients who have hepatitis C have much higher rates of a range of non-liver related diseases. Things like cardiovascular disease, stroke, kidney problems, metabolic (such as diabetes), and central nervous system diseases.

Ignorance

People, even providers aren’t informed about hepatitis C. It isn’t on anyones radar, the symptoms can be easily attributed to other things or even non existent. Providers are busy, they want to put out fires, prescribe a pill for what is hurting TODAY, they aren’t always looking for ways to prevent disease or maintain good health.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The HepatitisC.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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