This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Coming April 4th the Chronic Hepatitis Forum on CompuServe!
Brian G. Arens
Brian's Chronic Hepatitis Home Page
"The Silent Killer"
by Brian G. Arens
CompuServe # 104047,140
Hepatitis is thought of by most, as a short lived illness, obtained on vacation in a foreign land; from eating bad shell fish; or fr=
om dining at the local unsanitary greasy spoon. A few weeks in bed, and the patient recovers with no long lasting ill effects. Yet=
for millions of people world wide, chronic hepatitis is a devastating illness which, disables and kills. In the United States over=
15,000 people will die each year from chronic hepatitis, now the principal illness leading to liver transplantation. Additionally,=
over 37% of people with chronic hepatitis will go on to develop primary liver cancer.
When I was first diagnosed with chronic hepatitis B, I believed I had been given a death sentence. Chronic hepatitis is spread in th=
e same manner as AIDS, and as a result, I had to come to terms with my own shame about how I may have contracted this illness. I exp=
erienced a dreadful sense of isolation and estrangement from friends, family, and colleagues. I knew no one else with my illness. B=
y reaching out, I came to know a great many people who suffer with chronic hepatitis of all types, and with time, education, and sup=
port, hope has replaced fear.
Here on CompuServe we now have a Chronic Hepatitis Forum (GO HEPA). Foremost, the forum is a friendly and supportive place for peop=
le with chronic hepatitis and their loved ones. A place to share their concerns, fears, triumphs and tragedies. A gathering place =
for physicians and patients to learn about the latest research developments, and share experiences, perceptions, frustrations and su=
Libraries are stocked with information, available for reading on-line or downloading. Subject areas include, treatments, support gro=
ups, disability, insurance, stress management, personal stories, and much more. Regular real time conferences will take place with=
leading hepatologists, other
physicians, and specialists representing fields and areas of concern to our community. On a regular basis Dr. Fabry will post comme=
ntaries on the latest news from the hepatology world including comments on treatments and living with chronic hepatitis. Informatio=
n on all liver diseases and back issues of Progress the quarterely newsletter of The American Liver Foundation will be available for=
reading on-line or downloading
The forum is managed by myself and by Thomas L. Fabry, M. D., Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine=
, New York, NY. If you would like further information about the forum please e-mail me at 104047,140
Some facts about chronic hepatitis:
Hepatitis B is 100 times more infectious than AIDS.
There are 3.5 million Americans infected with chronic hepatitis C.
1 of every 250 Americans is a carrier of the hepatitis B virus and can
pass it on, often without knowing.
For most people chronic hepatitis is a non-symptomatic illness.
In 1993 48,000 Americans were hospitalized because of chronic
3,442 liver transplants were performed in the US in 1993, an estimated 558 people died while waiting for a liver transplant.
7,000 infected newborns become chronic carriers of hepatitis.
450 of them will die prematurely of chronic liver disease.
Hepatitis B could be totally eliminated with vaccination.
10% of people exposed to the hepatitis B virus will go on to develop
chronic hepatitis B, 80% of people exsposed to the C virus will go on to become chronically infected.
Chronic Hepatitis is a major cause of cirrhoisis.
(Data provided by The American Liver Foundation 1-800-GO-LIVER)