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Charleston Chapter – MOAA
Date Posted:08/13/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
New 'Bombshell' Legal Opinion Says Military Retirees Can't Be Court Martialed

Date Posted:08/13/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center

Date Posted:08/07/19
This Story Expires on: 11/30/19
Terminally Ill Military Kids Can Now Receive Both Treatment and Hospice

Date Posted:08/07/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
VA vision care

Date Posted:08/07/19
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Advocates plead to keep widow’s tax repeal in military policy measure

Date Posted:08/07/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
Watch: TV News Keeps Fight to End Widows Tax in the Public Eye

Date Posted:08/07/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
Pending law could help vets get treatment at the VA for toxic exposure

Date Posted:08/07/19
This Story Expires on: 11/30/19
Serving after service: How getting involved helped me overcome my fears and rediscover myself

Date Posted:08/06/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
Pin Ups For Vets unveils 2020 calendar

Date Posted:08/06/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
The first underwater veterans memorial is open for divers

Date Posted:07/30/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
Tricare Rates Increasing in 2020 for Reservists, Young Adults, Others

Date Posted:07/25/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
Esper creates task force to deal with cancer causing chemicals on military installations

Date Posted:07/25/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
Here’s how 3 million more people will get military shopping benefits

Date Posted:07/25/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
Google Expands Support for Veterans Looking to Compete in Fast Paced Startups

Date Posted:07/25/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
Bill to Increase Adaptive Housing Grants for Wounded Vets Passes House

Date Posted:07/25/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
New Law Will Allow Thousands More Veterans to Join American Legion

Date Posted:07/18/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
CHAMPVA Recipients Can Now Get Prescriptions Online from the VA

Date Posted:07/18/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
5 Entrepreneur Tips from 'Shark Tank' Navy SEAL

Date Posted:07/10/19
This Story Expires on: 09/29/19
Here's How Much the 'Salute to America' Flyovers Cost the Military

Date Posted:07/10/19
This Story Expires on: 09/29/19
VA Announces Delay in Processing Blue Water Vietnam Veterans' Claims

Date Posted:07/09/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
VA MISSION Act: Answers to the top five questions about urgent care

Date Posted:07/09/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
VA health care

Date Posted:07/09/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
Pentagon Delays Big Changes to Post 9/11 GI Bill Transfer Rules

Date Posted:07/05/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
Vets, Troops Can Get Free Sports Gear for Their Kids. Here's How.

Date Posted:07/05/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
5 Threats to Your Military Transition and How to Reduce Them

Date Posted:07/05/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
Spouse Professional License Reimbursement Now Offered by All 5 Services

Date Posted:07/05/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
How to Get Free Supplies to Ship Care Packages

Date Posted:07/03/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
Disabled vets could see their student loan debts automatically erased

Date Posted:07/03/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
No Decision Yet From VA on New Agent Orange Presumptive Diseases

Date Posted:07/03/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
Historic Million Veteran Study Could Lead to PTSD Research Breakthrough

Date Posted:07/03/19
This Story Expires on: 12/31/19
5 Ways to Break the Ice When Networking

Date Posted:07/03/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
What About a Franchise? 4 Veteran Friendly Options

7 Affordable Ideas for Military Care Packages

Date Posted:06/29/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
TAP is getting a makeover this year. Here’s what you need to know.

Date Posted:06/27/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
After Decades of Fighting, the Blue Water Navy Benefits Bill Is Now a Law

Date Posted:06/27/19
This Story Expires on: 08/31/19
VA Accepting Applications For New STEM GI Bill Soon

Date Posted:06/26/19
This Story Expires on: 08/31/19
Could the Military 'Widow's Tax' Finally Get Abolished? Here's the Next Hurdle

Date Posted:06/26/19
This Story Expires on: 08/31/19
Trump Touts Mission Act in 'Off the Record' Phone Call with Thousands of Veterans

Date Posted:06/25/19
This Story Expires on: 08/31/19
Making home ownership easier for war wounded veterans

Date Posted:06/22/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
Free App Lets Troops Read to Their Kids at Home

Date Posted:06/12/19
This Story Expires on: 08/31/19
'The Right Thing To Do:' Unclaimed Remains of 19 Veterans Laid to Rest

Date Posted:06/12/19
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The Meaning Behind the 13 Folds of Old Glory

Date Posted:06/10/19
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The Warning Signs of Suicide and What to Do

Date Posted:06/10/19
This Story Expires on: 08/31/19
Pentagon Effort Underway to Make DD 214 Digitally Accessible, with More Privacy

Date Posted:06/08/19
This Story Expires on: 08/31/19
Here’s why the American flag is reversed on military uniforms

Date Posted:06/05/19
This Story Expires on: 08/31/19
Google launches tools to help military spouses find remote working opportunities

Date Posted:06/04/19
This Story Expires on: 12/31/19
Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center

Date Posted:06/03/19
This Story Expires on: 11/16/19
Korean War Vets Eligible for Free Return Tour

Date Posted:05/30/19
This Story Expires on: 08/31/19
Top Ten PCS Don’ts

Date Posted:05/21/19
This Story Expires on: 08/31/19
Free Veteran ID Cards Can Take 6 Months to Process

Date Posted:05/09/19
This Story Expires on: 08/31/19
Are you a 30 minute drive from your nearest VA medical facility? This map will show you

Date Posted:04/19/19
This Story Expires on: 08/31/19
PCS Checklists for Your Move

Date Posted:04/11/19
This Story Expires on: 08/31/19
Cheap Lodging for Military Families

Date Posted:03/31/19
This Story Expires on: 10/30/19
A robot reading your resume? 10 tips for vets to beat job screening software

Date Posted:03/27/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
South Carolina State Veteran Benefits

Date Posted:03/19/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
Here's All the Government Programs that Help Vets with Jobs and Benefits

March 22 Luncheon Meeting

Date Posted:05/05/18
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
Take the VA's New RAMP to a Faster Appeal Decision

Military Star Card Questions & Answers

US Air Force Museum to Mark 75th Anniversary of Japan Raid

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VA on Track to Cure Nearly All Patients with Hepatitis C
Posted on: 06/05/19
This Story Expires on: 07/31/19


 Test tube with blood sample for hepatitis C virus (HCV) test. (Getty image)


Four years ago, the Department of Veterans Affairs launched an ambitious initiative to cure all VA patients with chronic hepatitis C. Today, the department is more than three-quarters of the way, healing nearly 100,000 veterans of the virus, with 26,000 more to go.

Hepatitis C disproportionately affects people born between 1945 and 1965 and is contracted by sharing contaminated needles, getting a tattoo in an unregulated setting, having a blood transfusion before 1992, or having sex with infected partners.

Many of those with hepatitis C at the VA are Vietnam-era veterans who may have contracted it through transfusions, field vaccinations or intravenous drug use. Given that the VA is the largest single hepatitis C care provider in the country, the department set out in 2015 to eradicate the disease within its patient population, reducing their risk for cirrhosis, liver failure, cancer and death.

"We are within striking range of eliminating hepatitis C among veterans under the care of the Veterans Health Administration," VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said in a statement. "Diagnosing, treating and curing hepatitis C virus infection among veterans has been a significant priority for VA."

To date, the VA has spent $814 million on medications to attack the pernicious disease, curing 99,035 veterans, with an additional 16,000 currently undergoing treatment. The department plans to "treat all remaining veterans with HCV who are able and willing to be treated as rapidly as possible," according to VA officials.

"VA continues to enhance prevention efforts and services for those at highest risk of acquiring a new infection or reinfection and veterans with advanced liver disease," a VA spokeswoman told Military.com.

When the hepatitis C drug Sovaldi was introduced to the market in 2014, it was considered a breakthrough that reduced the time to treat patients from one year to 12 weeks. But the drug was expensive, with an estimated cost of nearly $12 billion to treat the VA's hepatitis C patients.

Following congressional hearings and accusations against Gilead Sciences Inc., maker of Sovaldi, of price-gouging, the company and its then-competitor, Janssen Therapeutics, maker of Olysio, negotiated with the VA to decrease the costs.

Today, the main medicines used by the VA to treat hepatitis C include Sovaldi and Mayvret, introduced to the market in 2017, an eight- to 12-week regimen that costs significantly less than other hepatitis C medications. A monthly supply of Mayvret before discounts is roughly $13,800, or $164 a pill.

The VA is so confident in the current available treatments for hepatitis C that it has begun offering patients needing organ transplants the option of receiving one that has tested positive for hepatitis C, followed by treatment for the virus.

The Iowa City VA Health Care System in March successfully transplanted hepatitis C-infected kidneys into four patients, negating their need for dialysis. The innovative strategy, according to Dr. Daniel Katz, the Iowa City transplant surgery director, provides cost-savings while improving veterans' lives.

"The high cost of hep C treatment may hinder rapid adoption of this practice in the private sector, where the transplant center may not be reimbursed for the hep C treatment," Katz said in a news release. "Even with the hep C treatment, though, there will be cost savings over time by removing patients from dialysis."

Across the VA medical system, transplant centers are offering infected organs to VA patients desperate to get off transplant lists. The William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin, and the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System in Nashville offer infected livers and hearts; the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia, will transplant hearts; and the VA Portland Health Care System in Oregon and VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System in Pennsylvania can transplant infected livers.

Navy veteran Jack Jones was treated two years ago for hepatitis C through the VA and recently was offered an infected kidney, which he accepted. After his transplant, he completed a treatment regimen for reinfection and is now back at home in Asheville, North Carolina. He no longer requires dialysis.

"I would recommend this, and the VA, to anyone," Jones said in a news release.

About 2.4 million Americans are infected with hepatitis C, with fewer than half aware that they have the infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC recommends that anyone born between 1945 and 1965 be tested for hepatitis C, as well as patients who received clotting factor concentrates before 1987 or a blood transfusion or organ transplant before July 1992.

Health workers involved in needle sticks, injection drug users, those who have gotten a tattoo in a place other than a licensed parlor and dialysis patients also should consider getting tested, according to the CDC.

By Patricia Kime



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Charleston Chapter – MOAA
Charleston Chapter – MOAA

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