Support Group Informs Public on Lethal Disease

The Hepatitis and Liver Transplant Support Group addressed the severity of hepatitis and liver diseases at the Tallahassee Memorial Diabetes Clinic.

According to Pam Langford the president of the hepatitis support group, hepatitis is “a disease of the liver. Inflammation of the liver disease.”

Langford said that there are three types of hepatitis’ which are A, B and C. She said that Hepatitis C is the most fatal one out of the three.

“Hepatitis C is the most common, chronic blood proof virus in the United States.” Langford said. “There are approximately 5 million people that have it, and less than a million that know it, and it outnumbers HIV almost 5:1.”

According to Langford, the Center for Disease Control recommends baby boomers  need to have a onetime Hepatitis C test. If they have the disease, they possibly have for the longest time as it progresses very slowly.

Hepatitis can be transferred to a person without them even knowing. It can be transferred through fingernails, open wounds and even in barber shops if clippers aren’t sterilized properly. However, blood is the main way hepatitis can be transferred.

“The most common way it can spread right now is by Intraenvous. drug users because that’s a total blood to blood transmission since they share needles you can’t clean it out with alcohol. Clorox kills Hepatitis C,” Langford.

Hepatitis A you can get it by the oral fecal route even at a restaurant if a cook has Hepatitis A uses the restroom and doesn’t wash and hands and touches your food then you can get Hepatitis A.

“Hepatitis A normally people would clear it and it will go away on its own. Hepatitis B is similar to C and it can be transmitted blood to blood, sexually and through body fluids,” Langford said.

Becky Toner a patient from Tallahassee, Fla., said that she enjoyed meeting new people and was happy there was a support group out here listening.

“It’s always good to have a support meeting when you’re going through something so you don’t have to feel alone,” Toner said.

Toner has had Hepatitis C and explained how she found out that she had it.

“I broke my shoulder when I fell, I had a bad fall and I had no clue what hepatitis was,” Toner said.

Toner said that she has been cleared from hepatitis by staying on a treatment plan and can now have surgery.

“I had it for decades I wanted a baby really bad I don’t know when I got Hepatitis C or when I got it. I could have gotten it from anyone of my ex’s razor blade,” Toner said.

Toner said, “You can live a normal life and get it sexually, people need to get tested.”

Hepatitis C is spread by blood-to-blood contact, has no vaccine, can live outside the body up to four days, is five times more prevalent than HIV in the U.S. and is the leading cause of liver transplants & liver cancer. That is according to the Hepatitis and Liver Transplant Support Group.

Ron Singer, from Tallahassee, Fla., is a diabetic and said that he is now a vegetarian and is trying to live a healthy life to prevent any health issues. Singer also said that people showing consideration and them caring is what stood out to him the most in the session.

“I try to keep my sugar levels low. I’ve been a vegetarian for twenty eight years. Overall I found tonight’s session to be a success. What stood out to me more is to see how people care and the more that a person communicates the more they can find out.”