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“The only thing necessary for these diseases to the triumph is for good people and governments to do nothing.”


AIDS & Hepatitis C:
Veteran Issues


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     Veterans from the Vietnam era were more at risk for contracting hepatitis C than any other war. Vietnam-era veterans made up 62.7% of those veterans who tested positive for hepatitis C. The next largest group is post-Vietnam at 18%. World War II at 4%, Korean 5.3% and Persian Gulf veterans make up 3%. Hundreds of Vietnam veterans are being diagnosed daily across America and are almost 10 times more likely to have hepatitis C than the average America.

     The conditions that existed during the Vietnam era for processing blood, blood products and vaccines were appalling. The blood was not heated despite hundreds of warnings from federal scientists to do so.

     Deployed US military forces have historically experienced higher rates of hospital admission from infectious diseases than from battlefield combat and noncombatant injuries. In addition to disease transmission between deployed troops and indigenous populations, warfare-related social disruption often creates refugees and internally displaced persons that can pass infections along to US military forces. Allied coalition forces may themselves bring infectious diseases into an area for the first time and transmit them to US forces and the indigenous



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Department of the Army control plan- To prescribe policies, responsibilities and procedures for implementation of the Bloodborne Pathogen Exposure Control Plan (BBPECP) to meet the letter and intent of the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard (29 CFR 1910.1030). OSHA has enacted this standard to "reduce occupational exposure to Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and other bloodborne pathogens". This plan details measures WRAMC and its employees will take to decrease the risk of transmission of bloodborne pathogens and provide appropriate treatment and counseling should an employee be exposed to bloodborne pathogens.


Hepatitis C Virus Screening in the VA "But after two years, the laudable promise of the VA initiative to screen and treat Hepatitis C Virus-infected veterans remains unfulfilled. The decentralized VA health system seems incapable of carrying out the Hepatitis C Virus program aggressively or consistently."  


Hepatitis C Origin Points to Possible Military Link Hepatitis, not Hepatitis C, was a serious medical condition for military personnel during the Vietnam War.  Thousands of servicemen contracted the disease and the Pentagon was determined to do something about it to resolve a drain on combat readiness.



VA Program The Council has identified four major goals of this campaign:- Raise awareness of hepatitis C infection risk factors/prevalence among veterans- Motivate veterans who may be infected with hepatitis C virus to seek testing and as appropriate, seek treatment- Provide credible, up-to-date hepatitis C information and education to at-risk veterans and those receiving treatment- To achieve the above goals through education and advocacy.


Viral Hepatitis amongst US Navy Personnel - 1987 by Six hundred and twenty-nine cases of viral hepatitis (A, B, and NonA-NonB) were reported among a total of 768,832 United States Navy and Marine Corps personnel during 1984 and 1985 via a passive surveillance system.