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Hep C




I served in the US Navy on board the USS Lexington from 1958 to mid 1962.

In 1992 I found out that I was infected with Hep C. My contention is that it is very possible that I had contacted it while giving blood to the Phillipine National Red Cross, or getting a shave and haircut in any of the Far East Ports that we visited or possibly from a shared razor while at sea for extended periods.

My question to throw out to the group is: Have any of you been successful in filing a claim with the VA for Hep C that you may have contacted prior to Viet Nam or under any of the circumstances that I've addressed?

I do have a recent letter in my VA medical file saying that it was entirely possible and probably that I contacted Hep C due to the unsanitary conditions in the Far East, namely the Phillipines during that time.

I can document all the events. I'm waiting on my medical records from St. Louis (4 months) and my Gastro Doc will write a very good Nexus letter for me.

Any and all advice greatly appreciated.


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Dan, did you receive any treatment for Hep C symptoms in service or fairly soon after discharge? From what I've read, the incubation period for Hep C can take as long as six months, but is more commonly between six to nine weeks.

That would mean for it to be service connected, you would have suffered from Hep C for thirty years before it was diagnosed. Plus, 14 years have passed since the diagnosis, are you just now filing an initial claim?

I'm a little lost on the timeline, maybe you can tell us more.

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Dan -the VVA (Vietnam Veterans of America ) won the first air gun to Hep win a few years ago.

The VA will deny if there is history of tattoos or IV drug use- sounds to me like you won't have a probelm with this- but one never knows what the VA will do-

Monte Wilson (VVA) -his vet who succeeded did have 2 tattoes. But they used a study from England as to the air gun connection and this is what helped the claim.

what VARO is handling this?

Here is a BVA case granting SC for Hep C:


There are more there-

Just go to http://www.va.gov/index.htm, click on Board of Appeals, scroll down the menu to search decisions-click- and put Hep C into the BVA search browser.

Also if you Google veterans Hepatitus C you will get many web sites with good info-

one of my favorites-:


Glad you came aboard here veteran-

your claim sounds solid-

By the way do you have any other potential SC disabilities?

Do you get SSA disability for anything?

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To: Vicki, Fla_Viking and Berta

No I did not receive any treatment for Hep C while I was in the service, my service dates are 1958 to mid-1962. It was only in 1990 that a blood test was discovered for Hep C.

The virus can remain hidden for 20 to 40 years. I do have a physicans's note in my civilian medical records that discusses the time frames. That same doctor is the Head of G.I. Dept. at the Tampa VA Hosp. He saw me about three months ago for first time since he left private practice 10 years ago. Good timing!! He did write into my VA medical records that my contracting Hep C was very likely during my military service, especially in the Far East due to the terrible sanitary conditions, especially in the Phillipines where I also gave my very first blood donation. I still have my Phil. Nat. Red Cross donor card and have had it verified by the current heads of the Phil. Red Cross.

In 1992 I gave blood and received a letter from the blood bank that there was a problem with the donation and for me to contact my physican. He said "Don't worry about it". I never had a sickness or problem that would have indicated that I had any disease

I wasn't subject to the air gun injections, instead they used stainless steel syringes, taking whatever we were getting from vials and just kept going down the line. I still communicate with 6 guys that I served with and they all were given their innoculations in boot camp the same way.

I have the DAV handling my claim. I recently went to my Congressman's local office and requested that they write a letter to the VA Records in St. Louis to try and speed up the copying of my medical records from when I was in the service.

No other claims with the VA. No I did not try for SSD, I'm 65 and still work because my wife still spends. I do have a good job as an appraiser with our county government with excellent benifits. I may retire if I can put this VA claim to rest. I tried to go through the Infectous Disease Dept at the Bay Pines VA but they are of one mindset only. I never thought of filing a claim. I've been on 3 seperate combination therapies and I can assure you that the cure might kill you first.

I've been a charter member, director and served as an officer for the Tampa Bay Hepatitis and Liver Group and am pretty well educated on liver disease and Hep C. My private primary care doc is a liver and Hep C specialist and will help with the VA anyway he can. Great guy personally.

So I just waiting for the VA to send the records, have my primary care doc. read them over and get a Nexus letter from him. All sounds too easy doesn't it!!!!

I apologize for using all the "I's" and being wordy.

Good health to all,



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"My private primary care doc is a liver and Hep C specialist and will help with the VA anyway he can. Great guy personally."

His medical opinion-with his expertise- should fully outweigh anything their "expert" doctors can come up with.

If you get a C & P exam , get a copy of the actual C & P report that the VA doc wrote- this way you have a leg up on what their decision might be-

then again this doc is also a VA doc too?

Seems like you would have no problems- but- no one can predict what the VA will do when they adjudicate the claim.

They came up with numerous reasons why my husband died, in SSOCs years ago.

Lots of VA so called "experts" did those reports.

Finally they caved in and admitted that they killed him with lousy med care.

They stated it a little differently in the award letter but ----

my point is that a vet -even with absolute bonafide solid med evidence, cannot depend on a proper decision right from the git go-

sometimes it happens-

many times it takes years to get that.

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Berta and others,

Had my P & C exam at Bay Pines, VA last Thursday, after 3 reschedules. Exam was given by a PA and not a MD or DO. They had my military medical records there, although to date I have not received my copy from St. Louis. I did go right to the Records and Information office to request a copy of his report. Hard to read how this will go. I would have liked to have had my records in advance so my private G.I. Doc. could have written me a Nexus letter. So goes it, one day at a time.



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Dan was this an air gun-Hep C claim or were you a medic ,thus exposed to tainted blood, or did you get inservice transfusions?

Dont forget the Airgun win was from the VVA-

and I still have the treatise that Monte Wilson used for that award.

VVA was concerned because the vet had one of the two prime reasons VA deined these type of claims-

If the vet had history of IV drug use and/or had tattooes-they would say this caused the hep and deny the claim.

This vet had no drug history but did have 2 tattoes yet the VA granted hep c on the airgun because the study from England was consistent with a finding that air guns could carry Hepatitus C.

I sure hope this goes OK for you.

My ex husband got Hepatitus and he is a nurse. I dont know what kind he got. This was when they were just starting to use latex gloves in Hosps but those gloves could be pricked easily by a needle during a stressful

medical event or emergency.

I bet many combat medics got this incountry- they didnt use latex gloves during Vietnam war.

Cripe they had a barber in Danang who was a double agent.

I wonder if the VC ever thought to knick servicemen with contaminated razors in some of the base barber shops that VC worked in.

Edited by Berta
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