aidsnorthbay.com – AIDS Committee of North Bay & Area - To assist and support all persons infected or affected by HIV/AIDS and/or Hepatitis C and to limit the spread of the viruses through eduction, awareness and outreach strategies.

Peer Blog 3 from Melanie

June 27th, 2017 at 11:01 am

June 20, 2017

BLOG 3 – GOT THE CURE

I did know about the rare possibility that a person could fight off Hep C on their own.  Two out of ten people who contract the disease cure themselves. But I never expected this for myself. Not once. All I thought was there were thousands of people in need of treatment and I was only one of many in a crowd.

In August 2016, my general practitioner gave me the results to my regular three-month blood work.  He explained to me that I was no longer detecting Hepatitis C. I really didn’t know what that meant and so it didn’t register that I was cured. I told him that I was seeking treatment. He looked at me oddly and said to see my specialist if I felt the need.

It was now December and I hadn’t heard from my specialist since June. I saw no hope in sight for treatment. I was very discouraged and once again very distraught. I had to come up with a plan. Perhaps I should try to raise the almost $90,000 for the cure. I needed to think and figure out how I could do this.

I considered my resources and thought I had been already introduced to the AIDS Committee of North Bay and Area about getting involved so perhaps I should reach out to them to see what options there were, if any. 

By March 2017, with the assistance of the Hep C Nurse, the Nurse Practitioner and the social worker, I was immediately in touch with the organization’s Hep C treating physician specialist.  I was on my way to do more blood tests. I felt like I was on the road to recovery again. What a gift.

While I was waiting for my blood results I finally heard from my specialist about treatment. He was very excited because he could now offer me a treatment plan since I qualified under the new criteria.  He ordered the medication and I was to begin treatment in April.

I had to share the good news about my treatment with the team at the AIDS Committee. I also didn’t want to duplicate any effort or waste resources so it was critical that I let them know. An email from the Hep C nurse arrived with my test results. Then I received a phone call from the Nurse Practitioner. She announced with glee that I was no longer infected. I had cleared the virus and was non-detecting. I asked her if I still needed treatment. She said no and that I was a person that had cured herself. My body was able to fight off the virus. I couldn’t believe it. It was a miracle.

The question remained what was I going to do with all this medication. If I didn’t need it, could I give it away to someone who didn’t meet the criteria. Again, the AIDS Committee of North Bay and area offered some great suggestions that I really hope will help someone.

If you know someone who is Hep C positive and needs treatment, the Hep C team is a great place to start. In my location, I fall under the catchment area for the AIDS Committee of North Bay. There are over 16 Hepatitis C teams across Ontario that are there to help.