Hepatitis C: A Viral Mystery
By Terry Strauss & Stephen Steady, MD
This timely video is about living with a serious, chronic illness. Hepatitis C is a viral disease of the liver which affects nearly four million Americans. There is no vaccine for it, and no definite cure. Yet, although about 10,000 people die each year from diseases associated with Hepatitis C, and others will need life-saving liver transplants, it is not an automatic death sentence. The majority of cases are not life threatening; in fact, many people who have the disease experience no symptoms.
The Hepatitis C virus is primarily spread through blood contamination - for example, as a result of transfusions or of sharing needles. Many healthcare workers have become infected as a result of needle sticks. The courageous individuals who share their stories in this documentary represent a wide range of experiences with the disease. Rock star Phil Lesh experienced few symptoms for years, until acute end-stage liver failure forced him to seek a liver transplant. Luther Brock contracted the virus through drug use; he is now engaged in community education about the illness, and leads support groups. Linda Cosgrove and Lucinda Porter are both nurses; while Linda was exposed at work, Lucinda's infection happened when she had a necessary blood transfusion. All three have chosen to be treated either with interferon or with a combination of interferon and ribavirin, the current treatment of choice, and have experienced varying degrees of success. Unfortunately, this combination therapy is only 40 percent
effective and has serious side effects in many patients.
In addition to discussing the medical treatments available, the video also explores alternatives which appear to help some people. Electrician and activist Lareck McDonell and Roxie Williams, a unit secretary, have explored such options as dietary changes, herbal therapies, meditation and guided imagery. Mark Ontoveros teaches Qi Gong and believes that it has helped to restore his health.
A vitally important public awareness tool for caregivers, patients, and the general public, Hepatitis C is above all a commentary on human resilience and hope in the face of a life-altering condition.
Purchase $199 VHS
Order No. QA-308
ISBN (VHS) 1-57295-308-X
"This is, in my opinion, the best video on the subject available. Honest, unbiased, compassionate, informative and up-to-date. A real treat." C.D. Mazoff, PhD
"A fine program, recommended for general library and health sciences library patient education collections." MC Journal
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