“I am a sixty years young grandmother of two. I was recently cured of the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) infection which I contracted through a medical procedure before my seventeenth birthday in 1971. That was the era when needles and other medical instruments were disinfected through boiling. I had a severe episode of acute hepatitis (called “jaundice” at the time) so I knew something had happened to my liver. ”
The Hepatitis C Virus was identified some 20 years later after this episode, and only then was Isabelle formally diagnosed with HCV (genotype 1a) infection. There were no HCV treatments at the time Isabelle Gaultier was diagnosed so she focused on a healthy diet and an active lifestyle to keep her weight down, she avoided alcohol and liver-toxic products, and didn’t smoke.
Even though she got quite tired at times, Isabelle had an exciting career taking her to many countries around the world. For the last 10 years before her retirement, she worked as a scientist in the research and development department of a large pharmaceutical company, focusing on oral combination treatments for HIV and HCV. It gave her great hope that one day, short and effective oral treatments would become available. In 2014, she was accepted to be treated in a late-phase clinical trial of a combination treatment that was since approved for use in the USA, Canada and Europe. In June 2015, she received the great news that she had achieved SVR24 (sustained viral response 24 weeks after the end of treatment), which opened up for her a virus-free life. Now, Isabelle can continue to enjoy an active life, with her husband Andy, grandchildren and her dog.
“We are in an exciting era where new, effective and tolerable treatments are available. I recommend to everyone that I meet, particularly baby boomers, that they get tested for HCV infection and establish a good working relationship with a competent doctor. Life is good!” – Isabelle Gaultier
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