Waiting Too Long for Care
Last updated: February 2023
Did you experience waiting for access to hep C care and treatment after diagnosis? Perhaps it was your choice not to treat at the time, even if it was offered.
But that is something different. Many people who were diagnosed years ago did wait until newer and better treatments were developed.
Older treatment options vs. new ones
The older treatment that was interferon based were harsh and not very effective at stopping the virus. Some people tried interferon therapy, and some were treated successfully, but there were several who started and were unable to complete due to some awful side effects that could cause more damage than good.
This was then. Now there are highly effective treatments that are free of the harsh side effects. Interferon is not in the mix at all.
If you were diagnosed in the last seven to eight years, your treatment options were direct acting antivirals (DAA’s). They are the highly effective treatments I mentioned. Shorter treatment duration and low side effects profile along with nearly 100% cure rates has changed the treatment landscape in amazing ways.
Experiencing delays in treatment
If you have treated in recent years with DAA’s, was it a long delay accessing treatment for you? Was it explained to you; why there was a delay? Are you waiting now?
Having spoken to too many who have waited or are waiting now, and not all for the same reason, but commonly the issue is about who will pay. It confounds me why not everyone would support the notion of cure.
Sure, I understand that we should make these decisions after considering all the risks and benefits of undertaking a treatment like this. I respect each person’s decision, if it is based in fact and the evidence that supports our decision is reliable. Where we acquire the information, we need to make an informed decision, can certainly affect the choices we make.
Please seek out safe, reliable, and trustworthy sources. The title of this piece refers to waiting too long, and maybe that is confusing in the above context, but it does speak to how that can affect your health.
Seeking treatment is important
I have spoken to and know many people, including friends that were not able to treat in advance of worsening disease, such as cirrhosis and a list of other serious conditions. They can not only adversely affect quality of life, but can compromise our health severely.
Maybe your liver is only mildly damaged or isn’t damaged at all. Maybe you have no symptoms of hep C whatsoever.
I understand it may not be on your list of things you need to do right now. I get it, and for some of us we have other more pressing issues. If that is your situation, please seek out care and solid information to determine what you can do now and what and when you should act in the future so that you do not experience what too many people I know; have.