Surviving Hepatitis C in AZ Jails, State Prisons, and Federal Detention Centers.

Surviving Hepatitis C in AZ Jails, State Prisons, and Federal Detention Centers.
The "Hard Time" blogspot is a volunteer-run site for the political organization of people with Hepatitis C behind and beyond prison walls, their loved ones, and whomever cares to join us. We are neither legal nor medical professionals. Some of us may organize for support, but this site is primarily dedicated to education and activism; we are fighting for prevention, detection, treatment, and a cure for Hepatitis C, particularly down in the trenches where most people are dying - in prison or on the street... Join us.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Remak: The Scandal of HEP C

Marin Scope Article 4-26-10

The Scandal of Hepatitis C

By Bill Remak, B.Sc. MT, B. Public Health, SGNA, AHCJ. ( ) Chair, National Association of Hepatitis Task Forces and California Hepatitis C Task Force and Fred S. Mayer, RPh, MPH, President, PPSI, Inc.

I am a native of Marin and after over 40 years of dealing with liver disease the hidden truth comes to the surface and is revealed for all to know and to take a stand. I want to share with you a short clip from the Canadian media from 1994 about hepatitis C. The same situation occurred in the United States but was suppressed by the CDC which instituted a badly managed "Look Back" program to attempt to contact patients that received transfusions from tainted blood and advise them to get tested.

The testing and screening of blood at blood banks for HCV was not in place until April 1992 in the US, yet from 1987 there was a test developed by the Chiron Corporation (now Novartis, Inc.) that indicated the presence of the hepatitis c virus in the blood. So why did it take five years to make our blood supply safe? Since then from time to time there have been concealed reports of contaminated blood from Blood Banks and Dialysis Centers throughout the country as recent as 2005.

Japan, Ireland and Canada have had cases judged in favor of the health consumers (by their highest judicial courts) that unwittingly received tainted blood products and were awarded compensation for their suffering. The United States Government has never owned up to their neglegence and their continued actions to downplay the concern has continued for nearly 18 years despite the appeal by the last five Surgeon Generals to take heed of this major health crisis.Those that have had surgeries prior to 1992 and may have received blood products during surgery should be tested.

Our governments focus on IV drug users as a high risk population not only is irresponsible because it neglects the rest of society but it also has helped generate a terrible stigma toward people that have the disease that in some cases may take years to reverse. It is a disservice to ignore the general population and it should be considered unconstitutional to not treat people fairly with potential exposure to chronic medical conditions or infectious diseases because one assumes that the condition was acquired as a result of lifestyle or behavioral issues.

Anyone in society should have the benefit of the doubt to obtain some piece of mind and determine if only because of the preventative aspect of early detection, the ability to obtain a test to determine if they have a potentially deadly illness. Please pass this link on to others who have been impacted by this disease and let them know that I am accepting volunteers across the country to advocate for the rights of patients with chronic liver disease and to help dispel the notion that this is a self inflicted disease caused only by behavior and lifestyles.

Our veterans, health workers and people that have unknowingly received tainted blood from tattoos, piercings and surgeries have been openly ostracized for having the disease and victimized and discriminated against by health care plans and policy wonks that have manipulated our Federal CDC agencies and Public Health Departments into targeting people with HIV/AIDS, drug users and prisoners as the most likely in society to be carriers therefore creating a stigma that influences negatively the quality of care.

Even if this is considered the highest risk population it is dumbfounding that healthcare should be assigned by giving some people preferential treatment over others and flies in the face of discrimination. It is time to say enough! We must stop this tremendous insult to injury and harm that occurred and continues to impact our citizens and hold our government accountable for their failure to activate a responsible prevention program and concealing information and control to make a safe national blood supply.

Feel free to contact me. Watch this clip. It happened here in the USA! Pretending it did not happen will not make the problem go away. We have had 35 major outbreaks in the last ten years throughout the country involving hundreds of thousands of patients at hospitals and clinics. Could it happen in Marin? Remember, Naomi Judd? She got a needle stick while working as a nurse at Marin General Hospital in the 70’s. It did not take much.

We need to be careful. This has a greater than 7 times more transmissible risk than HIV/AIDS as a blood borne pathogen.

Bill Remak, B.Sc. MT, B. Public Health, SGNA, AHCJ.
Chairman, California Hepatitis C Task Force
Steering & Communications Committee Member,
California Chronic Care Coalition
Chair, National Association of Hepatitis Task Forces
Secretary of the Board of Directors, FAIR Foundation
(Fair Allocations In Research)
149 Wyndham Way, Suite #223
Petaluma, Ca. USA
office 707 773-4922
cell 707 364-1802
fax 415 276-5893

1 comment:

  1. Bill Remak,Remarkable and compelling speaker.His life story is remarkable truly a inspiration to all suffering fom hepc.