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First, an update on my lab results. I now have reached SVR12 as of November 6th and hope the others on this trial will be doing the same. My last labs showed that everything was in normal levels.

The best solution for all hepatitis C genotypes is going to be the combination of the just approved Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) & daclatasvir (prescribed off-label once daclatasvir gets FDA approval); or Gilead's two drugs Sovaldi and GS-5816. Either of these would work in all genotypes without the need for ribavirin or interferon. With these drugs there would not even be a need for genotype testing... same drugs regardless of genotype.

Let's all continue to pray that these drug companies will soon realize they can make billions by working together. Otherwise their 'demographics' (i.e. people with HCV) are dying off at the rate of 1000 each and every day. At any rate, we must all continue to do what we can to make sure patients, doctors, and the FDA are aware of the success of these drug combinations, and there is no need to subject people to the brutal side effects of interferon or ribavirin, which can be long-lasting and even permanent. So please keep spreading this message in any way you can think of and I will continue to do the same.

Also, if anyone has any other ideas or suggestions on how to facilitate this, please let me know. I still find it hard to believe this is not worthy of national news coverage since we are dealing with a worldwide epidemic!
Another World Hepatitis Day is upon us! And I wanted to share the some 'good news' with you all and to offer hope for all who suffer with Hepatitis C.

On May 22nd, I began treatment in a clinical trial being conducted by Gilead Sciences. I am genotype 3a and have never received treatment before now. My liver biopsy from 12/07/11 indicated Stage 2, Grade 3. The clinical trial I am participating in is a Phase 2 trial with sofosbuvir (formerly GS-7977) and GS-5816, which is Gilead's newest NS5A inhibitor and is pan-genotypic (which means it is effective in all genotypes). Hopefully, this is their 'answer' to Bristol-Myers' daclatasvir. This is a Phase 2 trial for 12 weeks; 140 participants including genotypes 1, 2, and 3; without toxic interferon OR toxic ribavirin.

My baseline viral load (VL) was 6,530,000; AST 47; ALT 58.  My VL became 'UNDETECTABLE' sometime between week 4 and week 6 of treatment and was still 'Undetectable' after my 8th week of treatment. My AST is down to 20 and my ALT 13. They have not been in the normal range in years.
I wanted to share the video from our White House Petition launch press conference. It was held on February 19, 2013 in San Antonio. It features my husband Gary Dudley, Timothy Boyd, director of domestic policy for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), Elisa Chan, a member of the San Antonio City Council, and many more.



Here's a video of some question and answer sessions we did with the media after the press conference.

Hep C / HCV Coalition for The Cure - Press Conference Q & A Session - Part 1

Please sign the White House Petition at: http://wh.gov/vxtg

We need 100,000 signature in 30 days in order to get a response from the White House. And with your help we will do exactly that! So please sign this and forward it to everyone you know. You can help save lives!
Take action today. Sign our White House petition urging President Obama to help eliminate Hepatitis C. We need 100,000 signatures in a month's time. Urge your friends to sign it too! Here's the press release.



white_house_petition.jpgUrging pharmaceutical giants Gilead and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) to put patients' lives ahead of profits, the HCV Coalition for The Cure on February 19 will launch a White House petition drive seeking 100,000 signatures within a month to bring to President Obama's attention an exceptionally promising treatment for a deadly disease being held captive by corporate self-interest.

A combination of Gilead's drug sofosbuvir and BMS's daclatasvir in 2012 was found in Phase II trials to achieve a 100 percent cure rate for three of the most common types of liver-destroying hepatitis C (HCV), the most widespread blood borne infection in the United States. The combination treatment cured HCV type 1 within 12 weeks, and also showed the same promising results with types 2 and 3.
On the Third Annual World Hepatitis Day (July 28, 2012), I kicked off the "Gilead Sciences: Stop Withholding This Cure for Hepatitis C" petition with a stop at The Cove restaurant here in San Antonio.

My husband got up to speak because I was so terribly ill that day it took all I could do to stand up.  But my passion and determination about this matter sustained me enough to get up on the stage.

Also watch for a special appearance by the greatest mascot in the NBA - The Coyote. The hall of fame San Antonio Spurs mascot even signed the petition!



Please visit www.HepC-Cured.org for more information and to sign the petition.
baby_boomer_stamp.jpgHello all! I felt the need to take a minute from my ongoing battle with Gilead Sciences to put my own two cents in about the recent controversy regarding HCV testing in the "baby boomer" population.

This past August, the CDC came out with strong recommendations that doctors test all "baby boomer" patients regardless of past known risk factors. Now the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force seems to be recommending only that doctors "consider" HCV testing for their patients who are "baby boomers" and have no other known risks. It never fails to amaze me how you can get such completely different answers from well informed, educated groups whose only consideration is supposedly the public's best health and well-being.

Given that screening for hepatitis C involves a simple, inexpensive blood test and unlike other types of hepatitis, there is no vaccine available for hepatitis C, I would like to offer my own recommendations as a person who actually has hepatitis C. And they are as follows:

If you are a "baby boomer" (born between 1945 and 1965) then by all means you should ask your doctor for a one-time test for HCV regardless of your past risk factors, or lack of.

And I will take my recommendations even further. If you have ever had a needle pierce your body (even just once) whether it be by your own hand, or at the hand of a doctor, nurse, medical technician, a dentist, an acupuncturist, get tested! If you have a tattoo, body piercings, permanent cosmetic tattooing, or received air-gun inoculations while serving in the military, get tested! If you have had a blood transfusion, an organ transplant, or dialysis get tested!

Why do I recommend this?

Because even if there is only the slightest risk that you might have this disease, just by knowing you have it, you may be able to slow the progression of this disease by making certain lifestyle changes and by avoiding some foods, some medicines, all alcoholic beverages, certain supplements and vitamins, and even some herbal teas. If you don't know you have hepatitis C, you might continue making choices that could hasten this disease and end up with cirrhosis and/or liver cancer!

I wish I had known sooner than later!

So the bottom line... KNOWLEDGE IS POWER! So GET TESTED... but before you run out and do that, take a minute to sign this petition and help get the cure!

Or for more information visit: www.HepC-Cured.org
My name is Margaret Dudley, I am 61 years old and live in the great city of San Antonio, Texas. I have a wonderful, supportive husband and we have three daughters and six beautiful grandchildren.

Remember when cosmetic tattoos were first becoming popular? Permanent lip liner and eyebrows were all the rage. Many of my girlfriends and I had these procedures done and the results were great. It was nothing extreme... just a little subtle enhancement. We are 'baby boomers' and quite honestly not ready to look like our mothers. I looked and felt great...for a while.

I had not felt well in the years following my cosmetic "tattooing" procedure, and my doctors attributed my many symptoms to just getting older and said it was likely the onset of menopause.

I was really exhausted and fatigued all the time, and was often nauseated and bloated. I began to experience other stomach problems as well as crippling back pain. The worst of it was an awful four-year long ordeal with skin problems on the palms of both hands... severe cracks, bleeding, and extreme itching. I became very depressed as doctors continued to misdiagnose my symptoms for eleven years.

One day, a proverbial light came on and I told my doctor about a lady who had this procedure done at the same place that my friends and I did and she was diagnosed with the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) after she donated blood. My doctor immediately ran the test and the very next day (September 9th, 2011) I received the devastating news that I, too, was infected with this disease.


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