In a new piece for Salon.com, Assistant Professor Marion Winik shares the latest developments in the testing and treatment of Hepatitis C through her own personal experience with the once elusive infection.
In “Dating after Hepatitis C: Hope on the horizon for the 1 in 30 boomers estimated to be infected” Winik says that when she tested positive for Hepatitis C more than two decades ago, there was little known about the infection and treatments at that time were not very good. She went for years without any symptoms.
“I made it all the way to 2011, and then the outlandishly good health I had enjoyed all my life started to crumble,” said Winik. “I was exhausted. My blood counts plummeted and my spleen swelled to three times its normal size.”
Winik sought treatment at Johns Hopkins in early 2012, where new and radically more effective drugs for Hepatitis C were being studied and prescribed. After several weeks of treatment, she was finally cured of the disease, but she battled a range of side effects in the year ahead. Fortunately, she was among the last patients to experience those nasty side effects. Winik says today the drugs available for Hepatitis C have a 96 percent cure rate, and few people report side effects.