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Does The Military Test For Hep C

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Blood Sampling For Detection Serological Markers Of Viral Hepatitis

Free clinic testing Vets for Hep C this weekend

A blood sample was taken from each subject by venipuncture using a vacutainer device. The sample was allowed to clot for serum recovery and stored at 20 C until analysis.

Serum samples were tested for HBsAg, anti-HBc IgM, total anti-HBc, anti-HBs, and anti-HCV using commercial enzyme-immunoassay kits , according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Samples found to be negative on the preliminary screening were considered seronegative and samples initially tested borderline or positive were retested using the same assay in order to confirm these results.

What Health Professionals Need To Know About Hepatitis C

The hepatitis C virus is transmitted primarily through parenteral exposure to infectious blood or body fluids containing infectious blood. Hepatitis C is not a vaccine-preventable infection.

Hepatitis C infection is reportable by laboratories and clinicians to local public health authorities in all provinces and territories.

Consult the national case definition for additional information.

In Canada, screening of the blood supply was implemented in 1992. This has virtually eliminated the risk of HCV transmission via transfusion. Prior to this, thousands of people contracted HCV through receiving blood or blood products.

Data Collection And Analysis

The prevalence rates of HBV and HCV markers were calculated for the total study population. Continuous variables were reported as the mean ± standard deviation. Descriptive statistics were generated for the responses, and the chi-squared test for independence or for trend was used to assess the association of categorical variables and anti-HBc and anti-HBs status by using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences . The results were considered statistically significant when p < 0.05.

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Results Of The Hbcab Test

There are two variations of antibodies. The IgM antibody is the largest antibody and the first produced in an infection. It shows that you may have a current, active infection. Sometimes it persists for years, but it usually drops to undetectable levels.

The HBcAb IgG variant is produced later in the course of the infection, and it’s likely that you will have a positive HBcAb IgG test the rest of your life.

The screening panel usually has a test that is for total HBcAb, which includes both IgM and IgG. The IgM test may be ordered to help determine if you have an acute infection.

A positive HBcAb test must be interpreted along with the results of the other tests. You may have an active or chronic infection, or you may be immune to hepatitis B due to past infection. Discuss the results with your healthcare provider. In any case, a positive HBcAb test means your blood or organs cannot be donated to a recipient.

Birth And Accession Cohort Demographics

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Among the study population, 3,850 were born before 1979 . Those who were born in/after 1979 were more frequently white , of lower rank , single , in the Marine Corps and less likely to have health care occupations . Compared with those who entered military service before 2002 , those who entered in 2002 or later were more likely to be younger , less educated , of lower rank , serving in the active component , Marines , and less likely to have health care occupations .

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Complications Of Hepatitis C

If the infection is left untreated for many years, some people with hepatitis C will develop scarring of the liver .

Over time, this can cause the liver to stop working properly.

In severe cases, life-threatening problems, such as liver failure, where the liver loses most or all of its functions, or liver cancer, can eventually develop.

Treating hepatitis C as early as possible can help reduce the risk of these problems happening.

Hepatitis A Total Blood Test

This test can be used to look for both recent and past exposure to Hepatitis A. It can also be used to verify immunity to Hep A. Hepatitis A is a liver infection which is typically spread through exposure to contaminated fecal matter. Some of the common ways Hep A is spread include

  • Through contaminated drinking water
  • Eating food prepared by someone who has not properly washed their hands
  • Eating produce that has not been properly washed
  • Eating seafood raised in contaminated water
  • Through some forms of sexual contact
  • Exposure to infected blood

The Hepatitis A Total test looks for 2 types of antibodies. IgM antibodies develop soon after exposure and fade away after a couple of months. IgG antibodies develop later and remain present in the body. The presence of IgM antibodies indicates a recent exposure to the virus and the possibility of an acute infection. Typically, IgG antibodies provide immunity to Hep A for people who have had a past infection or have received a vaccination.

Hepatitis A is typically associated with flu-like symptoms. Common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, fever, fatigue, and joint pain. In some cases, especially in younger children, Hep A may show no symptoms.

Turnaround time for the Hepatitis A Total test is typically 1 business day.

Detection Period:

Requirements:

It is recommended that someone taking Biotin stop consumption at least 72 hours prior to the collection of a sample.

Categories:

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The Va’s Hepatitis C Problem

Martin Dames is a highly decorated veteran of the Vietnam War. He received the Bronze Star for heroism in the combat zone and three Purple Hearts for injuries he suffered while fighting. He made it out alive, only to find out years later that those combat wounds got him infected with the hepatitis C virus , a deadly blood-borne pathogen discovered in 1989 that claims about 19,000 lives annually, a large number of them veterans. That number is growing every year.

A chronic infection in around 80 percent of cases, HCV often shows no signs of its corrosive presence until extensive liver scarring occurs after decades of infection. In some cases, the disease isn’t found until it has led to cirrhosisadvanced and potentially lethal amounts of scarring. Infection with the virus is a leading cause of liver cancer and transplants in the U.S.

Bob, another former U.S. Army soldier, also has HCV. He thinks he contracted it during an accident in childhood that caused his liver to burst, which required an emergency blood transfusion at a local hospital. Bob’s viral infection was discovered by the VA in a routine blood test around 1994, but it took a long time to tell him about it. In 2004, a doctor was looking at Bob’s records on a computer screen. “He asked, ‘What are you doing about your hepatitis infection?’ and I said, ‘I didn’t know I had it,’ and he replied, ‘Oh yeah, we have known about it for 10 years.'”

Endocrine And Metabolic Disorders

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The following conditions may disqualify you from military service:

a. Adrenal dysfunction of any degree.

b. Diabetes mellitus of any type.

c. Glycosuria. Persistent, when associated with impaired glucose tolerance or renal tubular defects.

d. Acromegaly. Gigantism or other disorder of pituitary function.

e. Gout.

Goiter, persistent or untreated.

Hypothyroidism, uncontrolled by medication.

Cretinism.

Thyroiditis.

i. Nutritional deficiency diseases. Such diseases include beriberi, pellagra and scurvy.

j. Other endocrine or metabolic disorders such as cystic fibrosis, porphyria and amyloidosis that obviously prevent satisfactory performance of duty or require frequent or prolonged treatment.

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Sexual Health In Themilitary

Health and fitness are important for everyone, of course. But for active duty members of the military, staying healthy and physically fit is not just important for your lifeits part of your job.

So you exercise, eat well, and prioritize your physical health. Hopefully youre mindful about you mental health and relationships as well. But what about your sexual health?

You may know this, but they are all related. Sexual health is an important part of your overall wellbeingit has an impact on your physical, mental and emotional health. Taking care of your sexual health can prevent possibly serious health problemsaffecting your life and you ability to serve. Thats why its important to make sexual health care part of your regular healthcare routine.

Skin And Cellular Tissues

The following conditions may disqualify you for military service:

a. Acne, severe or when extensive involvement of the neck, shoulders, chest, or back would be aggravated by or interfere with the wearing of military equipment, and would not be amenable to treatment. Patients under treatment with isotretinoin are medically unacceptable until eight weeks after completion of course of therapy.

b. Atopic dermatitis or eczema, with active or residual lesions in characteristic areas , or documented history thereof after the age of 8.

c. Contact dermatitis, especially involving rubber or other materials used in any type of required protective equipment.

d. Cysts.

Cysts, other than pilonidal, of such a size or location as to interfere with the normal wearing of military equipment.

Pilonidal cysts, if evidenced by the presence of a tumor mass or a discharging sinus. History of pilonidal cystectomy within six months before examination is disqualifying.

e. Dermatitis factitia.

f. Bullous dermatoses, such as Dermatitis Herpetiformis, pemphigus and epidermolysis bullosa.

g. Chronic Lymphedema.

h. Fungus infections, systemic or superficial types, if extensive and not amenable to treatment.

i. Furunculosis, extensive recurrent or chronic.

j. Hyperhidrosis of hands or feet, chronic or severe.

k. Ichthyosis, or other congenital or acquired anomalies of the skin such as nevi or vascular tumors that interfere with function or are exposed to constant irritation.

m. Leprosy, any type.

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History Of Air Gun Injector Use In The Military

The military used air gun injectors to vaccinate millions of service members from the 1950s through the 1990s. Due to their efficiency, boasting 1,000 injections per hour, air gun injectors were a preferred method of vaccination not only in the military but through global immunization campaigns. Vaccines are delivered through the skin using a high-pressure stream of air. If the patient or vaccine administrator moved, the stream of air might rip the skin.

The Department of Defense stopped using this method in 1998 after a Hepatitis B outbreak in a California weight loss clinic was blamed on air injector use. How could this be possible? Air injectors were not cleaned between uses. Initial reports were that contamination was highly unlikely, and cleaning between each patient would slow down the process.

Get The Facts About Hep C

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Heres what were up against:

  • About 3.4 million people in the U.S. are living with chronic hep C
  • Hep C is a blood-borne virus and is spread through contact with infected blood
  • Most people with hep C do not have any symptoms, or have general or common symptoms
  • Symptoms can be flu-like and include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, jaundice, abdominal pain, joint pain, dark urine, and gray-colored stools
  • A simple blood test can show if you have hep C antibodies, and you can get results in as few as 20 minutes. The presence of hep C antibodies indicates you may be currently infected with the hep C virus

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Pilot Study Of A Collaborative Multidisciplinary Integrated Care Model

At the Center for the Study of Hepatitis C, nine patients who were actively using illicit drugs have been treated with peginterferon and ribavirin in a pilot study evaluating a collaborative, multidisciplinary, integrated care model that integrates the resources and expertise of community-based needle exchange programs with those of a tertiary care hepatitis C center. One patient was lost to follow-up, one had no virologic response to the medication, and one discontinued treatment because of hepatic decompensation. All six remaining patients are HCV RNA-negative to date four have had SVRs, one has had an end-of-treatment response and less than 24 weeks of follow-up, and one is still receiving treatment. Unexpectedly, five of the nine patients stopped their use of illicit drugs and one other patient substantially curtailed his use. All six cited the decision to start hepatitis C treatment or the news of their negative HCV RNA test as the factor motivating their decision. Although four of the nine patients had genotype 2 or 3 or acute HCV infection, factors associated with favorable outcomes, these results suggest that with appropriate support, hepatitis C treatment can be successful even for active drug users, and may serve as a bridge to healthier behaviors in other domains as well.

How Is The Hbcab Test Done

This is a blood test. A clinician will fill a tube with blood taken from a vein in your arm through which a needle is inserted. If you are giving blood, a sample will be taken from the blood you’re donating. The blood is sent to a lab, where it is tested. Sometimes HBcAb will be added on to lab orders when results from other tests indicate there may be a hepatitis B infection.

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Hbcab Or The Hepatitis B Core Antibody Test

The hepatitis B core antibody is produced by your immune system after infection by the hepatitis B virus, and it can persist for life. It is a sign that you either have an new, active hepatitis B infection or that you acquired hepatitis B in the past.

HBcAb is an immune system response to a protein in the core of the virus, and it is only present if you have been infected, rather than immunized against the virus. It is part of a routine screening panel of tests for hepatitis B. If your rest results turn out to be positive, your healthcare provider will order further tests to determine the stage of the infection: acute or chronic .

Also Known As: anti-HBc, HBcAb

Treatments For Hepatitis C

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Hepatitis C can be treated with medicines that stop the virus multiplying inside the body. These usually need to be taken for several weeks.

Until recently, most people would have taken 2 main medicines called pegylated interferon and ribavirin .

Tablet-only treatments are now available.

These new hepatitis C medicines have been found to make treatment more effective, are easier to tolerate, and have shorter treatment courses.

They include sofosbuvir and daclatasvir.

Using the latest medications, more than 90% of people with hepatitis C may be cured.

But it’s important to be aware that you will not be immune to the infection and should take steps to reduce your risk of becoming infected again.

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Hepatitis B And The Us Military

Currently, the Department of Defense has policies that can negatively impact military personnel and military students. DOD policies, which do not reflect evidence-based science or current CDC recommendations, can result in inconsistent personnel decisions for service members with hepatitis B, which impede career advancement and make personnel vulnerable to medical evaluation boards and discharge. In addition, DOD policy does not permit enlistees or applicants with hepatitis B to serve in the U.S. Uniformed Services or participate in DOD educational or scholarship programs.

What we are doing:

Since 2013, the Hepatitis B Foundation, along with dedicated civil rights advocates, have called for the DOD to update their hepatitis B policies and personnel management instructions to reflect the most current guidelines for hepatitis B management and treatment. Our stance is that having hepatitis B does not impact the ability of military students and personnel to serve, and that military personnel with hepatitis B do not pose a risk to others. This is based upon current scientific evidence and guidelines:

What do if you are facing discrimination:

If you or someone you know has faced hepatitis B-related discrimination in the military, and to learn more about how you can join us and take action, please contact the Hepatitis B Foundation at or 215-489-4900.

Study Setting And Design

The study was conducted at Bahir Dar Armed Forces General Hospital found in Bahir Dar town from the 1st of February to the 30th of May 2015. The town is located 578 km far from Addis Ababa. The hospital currently provides health service for more than 9000 military and military families. It has 5 wards with 200 beds for inpatient service. All military persons attending the hospital were eligible for the study. The sample size was determined using single population proportion formula with the assumption of 95 % confidence interval , 5 % marginal error and 50 % prevalence of HBV and HCV infection because there was no previous similar study and 5 % none response rate. Therefore, the final sample size was determined 403. During the study period, a total of 1320 military patients were attended in the hospital and the study participants were recruited using systematic random sampling method.

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Understand The Risk To Veterans

Data suggest that a higher prevalence of hep C is seen in veterans enrolled in the care of the Veterans Health Administration versus the general U.S. population. Vets could have been exposed to hep C in one or more of the following ways:

  • Doing healthcare work or sharing personal items, such as razors or toothbrushes, with someone who has hep C
  • Receiving a blood transfusion or organ transplant before 1992
  • Using injection drugs, sharing drug equipment, or receiving tattoos or body piercings in unregulated settings
  • Having a current or former sex partner with hep C
  • Having other potential blood-to-blood exposure, either during military service or at any other time

Va On Track To Cure Nearly All Patients With Hepatitis C

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Four years ago, the Department of Veterans Affairs launched an ambitious initiative to cure all VA patients with chronic hepatitis C. Today, the department is more than three-quarters of the way, healing nearly 100,000 veterans of the virus, with 26,000 more to go.

Hepatitis C disproportionately affects people born between 1945 and 1965 and is contracted by sharing contaminated needles, getting a tattoo in an unregulated setting, having a blood transfusion before 1992, or having sex with infected partners.

Many of those with hepatitis C at the VA are Vietnam-era veterans who may have contracted it through transfusions, field vaccinations or intravenous drug use. Given that the VA is the largest single hepatitis C care provider in the country, the department set out in 2015 to eradicate the disease within its patient population, reducing their risk for cirrhosis, liver failure, cancer and death.

“We are within striking range of eliminating hepatitis C among veterans under the care of the Veterans Health Administration,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said in a statement. “Diagnosing, treating and curing hepatitis C virus infection among veterans has been a significant priority for VA.”

“VA continues to enhance prevention efforts and services for those at highest risk of acquiring a new infection or reinfection and veterans with advanced liver disease,” a VA spokeswoman told Military.com.

“I would recommend this, and the VA, to anyone,” Jones said in a news release.

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