by Jim Fausone
Veteran Disability Lawyer
We hear from a lot of veterans with Hepatitis C which they believe was contracted in the military. Many guys feel that the air gun innoculations they received in basic training were the start of the Hep C.
Up to 10% of all veterans in the VHA system tested positive for Hep C. In 2000, Gary A. Roselle, M. D., Program Director for Infectious Diseases, Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, said “One in 10 US Veterans are infected with HCV”, a rate 5 times greater than the 1.8% infection rate of the general population.” Four (4) million Americans have Hep C.
It is difficult to prove when Hep C was contracted and to establish service connection. Some good news for veterans with Hep C is a new medicine regime. Two newly approved Hep C drugs, Victrelis and Incivek by Merck and Vertek, have resulted in great clinical trials but the drugs are costly and can cause unwanted side effects. Let’s see how long it takes VA to start using these new drugs.