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Top 10 Post Counseling Messages

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  • scarletpaolicchi
    From The Oct. HCV Advocate.org Newsletter Top 10 Post Counseling Messages —Alan Franciscus, Editor-in-Chief Heather Lusk, Hepatitis C Coordinator Hawai`i
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 3, 2009
      From The Oct. HCV Advocate.org Newsletter

      Top 10 Post Counseling Messages
      —Alan Franciscus, Editor-in-Chief
      Heather Lusk, Hepatitis C Coordinator
      Hawai`i Department of Health

      When someone is diagnosed with hepatitis C there are many messages we can give to advise the newly diagnosed person during this difficult period. The person can be counseled about HCV transmission and prevention, but the key is to talk with the person and offer messages that alleviate some of the fear and offer hope. Our list for the top ten post counseling messages include (not in any particular order):

      * HCV Antibody Positive: If only an HCV antibody test was performed remind the person that they will need to have an HCV RNA viral load performed to find out whether the HCV infection is resolved or if they are currently infected with HCV.

      * Don't panic: For the vast majority of people diagnosed with HCV, liver disease progression is slow and if there is serious disease progression it usually takes many years.

      * Liver Monitoring: See a medical provider on a regular basis for health monitoring.

      * Vaccinate against HAV & HBV: If people have never been infected with or vaccinated against hepatitis A or hepatitis B they should begin the vaccination series as soon as they can to prevent getting another hepatitis virus on top of an already compromised liver.

      * Lifestyle Changes: There are many things that people can do to help them stay healthy, such as eating a healthy and nutritious diet, avoiding or cutting back on alcohol, cigarette smoking or any substances that could potentially harm the liver. Don't forget to drink plenty of water.

      * Debunk Myths: There are many myths about hepatitis C. One common myth is that hepatitis C is a death sentence, and we know that for most people this is not the case.

      * Avoid Mega Doses of Vitamins: Mega doses of vitamins especially Vitamin A and D should be avoided because they can damage the liver. Tell your doctor about any herbs or vitamins you are taking.

      * Avoid Raw/Undercooked Shellfish: People with any liver disease should avoid raw or undercooked shellfish because of the potential of severe HAV and Vibrio vulnificus infections.

      * HCV Transmission/Prevention: Talk about the ways that HCV is transmitted and how to prevent transmission, such as not sharing razors or anything that may have blood on it. Also bring in messages about how HCV is not transmitted.

      * Join a Support Group: One of the best ways to find out about hepatitis C and get much needed support is to join an HCV support group in person or online. Support group members have been in the same "place" and can help other members deal with the many aspects of being newly diagnosed.

      We would like to learn from our audience about what they were told or what they tell others that helped after a diagnosis of hepatitis C. Please email your comments to alanfranciscus@...
      Best Wishes,
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