Are All Veterans Treated Fairly with Hepatitis C?

Are all veterans treated fairly with Hepatitis C
I’ve heard it’s difficult to watch….

Are All Veterans Treated Fairly with Hepatitis C? The Veterans Administration has definitely made positive changes for those infected with Hep C. More money and expanded programs are making huge improvements. Still there are those who may not be getting the benefits. Even with increased funding, not every veteran is being treated fairly. I have ties with vets who have HCV and hear very different stories from each of them. Let their experience speak for itself. For the sake of privacy, I’ll refer to them as V1, V2, and V3.

Are all veterans treated fairly with Hepatitis C?

V1 was diagnosed with stage 2 liver disease, and was advised to wait on treatment. He wasn’t sick enough. His work as an electrician required climbing on ladders. One day, he got dizzy and fell. He got banged up, bruised, and had a 4 inch gash in his arm. Because he had served as an Iraq infantryman, he knew how to tourniquet, and then sat quietly in ER without making a scene. The staff ignored him, moving others through the waiting room of the large hospital. After 4 hours, he was finally seen, stitched up, and sent home. He works 50 hours a week. He still has Hep C.

Veteran Hep C treatment ihelpc karen
Spreading the Word can help everyone get treated

V2 found out he had Hep C about 15 years ago. After a round of Interferon, he still had the virus. He declined treating again until 2015. He is now Hep C free and leads an active life in the suburbs. He is semi-retired and can be found greeting people at a local store, or at the VFW watching sports. He tends a garden, and is screened for liver cancer every 6 months. He gets blood labs drawn to monitor for anemia and liver enzymes. His doctor at the small clinic he goes to enjoys fresh tomatoes that our best friend in the battle brings him all summer.

V3 loves his nurses. They feel the same about him. The clinic has monitored his Hep C since he moved to a rural area about 10 years ago. They did routine blood work and praised his “get up and go” attitude. They started his treatment after finding a tumor, which turned out to be hepatocellular carcinoma. After clearing the virus in 2016, they began monitoring him more closely. This Viet Nam vet was not listed for a transplant at his own request. He is now being treated using TACE. His health is declining rapidly with ascites, varices, and malnourishment. He has had several hospitalizations recently. He still praises the excellent treatment received from the medical staff.

These are just 3 guys that I’ve gotten close to. Some of their experiences were due to general health, but in every case, the facility played an important role in how they dealt with HCV.

are all veterans treated fairly with hepatitis C
Every veteran deserves fair treatment

I occasionally hear from other veterans. There are thousands of veterans who have personal experience with Hep C. I get emails, and get behind on reading emails…. With Veterans Day coming up, I always think of them, including my own family members who served in the armed forces. One cousin died from cirrhosis back in the late 80’s. He drank some for sure, but now I wonder if he had Hep C. There was no test at the time. The quality of care is definitely improving. The latest policy changes promise for even more help for our best friends who are veterans. Xoxo Karen


About Karen Hoyt

Karen Hoyt offers a no nonsense approach to living with Cirrhosis. A Hepatitis C treatment survivor, she created a liver loving diet and lifestyle that allows her to create awareness and advocate for her Best Friends at

10 thoughts on “Are All Veterans Treated Fairly with Hepatitis C?

  1. I DID NOT KNOW HEP C WAS BROUGHT BACK FROM VEITNAM, WHEN WAS THIS COMFIRMED? its sad for are veterns the way they are treated. they fought for us died for us and they should get every health care possible. just not right. So young and brave. I haven’t met in my generation yet or the generation growing up now, and in between that they just don’t get it… Its not there fault they brought WHAT THEY DID. be thankful they came back.. I HAVE RESPECT FOR THEM ALL.. I would give my heart and soul to these people before I would anyone else…..thank u for fighting for us…..

    1. Hi!
      Hepatitis C was NOT brought back from Viet Nam. Many of our solders received inoculations before they even left to Nam. These were done where the guys lined up and 1 big shot injector was used. Many times it was not sanitized. If one person had Hep C, it could potentially be spread to every single person behind them in line.
      Also, in the battle field, the med units did not always have a way to sanitize. Even getting bandaged up could cause a blood transfer.

      I’m with you. I respect our men for what they did. Many of them came home to try and get their lives going again, and didn’t even know they had it. You’re welcome and we are all in this fight together. You’ve got a beautiful heart and I appreciate your comments.
      xoxo Karen

  2. I have Hep C and I am a veteran. I was referred to St Vincent’s in Sydney to the IBAC program and after two drug trials I was finally cleared. My gold card status was not an option. All was through Medicare though DVA before me access some medications at a lower rate.

    1. Hi and thanks for stopping by. Congratulations! You’ve finally cleared the virus. Now.. now.. your liver can get some rest.

      So you are saying that you had to pay for treatment, but got it at a lower rate… I was on an online forum in Scotland for years, and it seemed that treatment was fairly easy to access for UK. Are you a US citizen or from Australia? Please forgive me, I confuse easily.

      Also, did you have any liver disease?
      Thanks so much… for serving and for adding to the conversation. xoxo Karen

  3. Thank you, Karen. I am also a veteran and I am keenly aware of the discrepancies in care being provided through VA care centers. I have friends who sing the praises of their centers and others who feel as if they are being punished for being sick and taking up someone’s time.

    1. That is EXACTLY what I hear also. It makes me so happy to hear that a veteran is being taken care of and getting all their needs met in a respectable fashion. But then to hear a story of someone who has served, or is currently serving, and being treated poorly is distressing.
      I totally agree that NO one who is sick should ever feel like they are taking up someones time. That is why we pay taxes – to provide for those who serve and protect us.
      Thanks for your comment!
      xo Karen

  4. I believe in helping those who help us… and they every well so did…. even if it didn’t come from there,here, when a soldier needs help they fought for it….veit nam vets I salute u…….

    1. Me too! So I saw that Bill Remak posted a reply on my forum that they used those injection guns until 2006. So every veteran was potentially exposed.
      I SO agree dear friend… with everything going on in the world right now, Americans can all unite on our country’s love for each other.
      xo Karen

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