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chronic hepatitis forum

Brian G. Arens 104047.140 at COMPUSERVE.COM
Fri Mar 29 21:07:09 EST 1996

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Coming April 4th the Chronic Hepatitis Forum on CompuServe!

Brian G. Arens
Brian's Chronic Hepatitis Home Page

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Chronic Hepatitis
"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=
ccess stories.

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)


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