The following guest post was submitted to VAntage Point by Ed Drohan, public affairs specialist, James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital, Tampa Florida.
Paul Munroe doesn’t know, or for that matter care, how he was infected with hepatitis C. What he does care about is that he’s finally free of the disease, thanks to a new treatment provided by VA.
Munroe, a Marine Corps Vietnam Veteran living in Brooksville, Fla., was first diagnosed with the chronic liver disease more than eight years ago. He unsuccessfully underwent an older treatment series twice before finally being cured last year. The older 48-week treatment consisted of weekly injections in the stomach along with daily pills and had side effects so bad that Munroe’s treatment had to be stopped.
“I got so sick and felt so bad,” Munroe said. “It caused problems with my heart medication so my doctor took me off it. I was disappointed because I wanted to finish the treatment.”
So when he was offered a chance to try a new treatment only recently made available to the public, he jumped at the chance. After 12 weeks of treatment, the virus was gone and Munroe was considered cured.
According to Dr. Jamie Morano, an infectious disease physician at the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital (JAHVH) in Tampa, the new treatments like the one that cured Munroe usually consist of one to two pills a day for 12 weeks and have a 95 percent cure rate compared to 40 to 45 percent for the