Thanks to everyone who has posted about their experiences and journeys, especially with Twinvir. It's all inspiring stuff and compels me to do the same in case my story may inform others about getting affordable treatment for HepC. I have known that I had the virus since the mid-90s, but other than a miserable 48 weeks with interferon and ribavirin I have chosen to ignore the virus and get on with life as best as I can. With the new generics, however, coupled with the availability of information and assistance from sites and forums such as these, an opportunity to determine my future for the better is irresistible.
I live and work in the Middle-East, so my story may be of interest to others with Hep C in this region. Harvoni and AbbiVie are available but unless you have a top of the range insurance plan then these are prohibitively expensive to purchase. I sought out a gastroenterologist who ordered a full blood test, viral load reading and ultrasound (no fibroscan at this particular hospital). My VL was 1980000 IU/ml, ALT 257, AST 257, mild increase in liver echogenevity but no lesions were present and portal veins were normal.
Because I already knew my genotype (1b) and had sourced information on Twinvir, all I required for its importation was a medical report and prescription from my gastroenterologist, and these were provided last without fuss. I went to the national Ministry of Health, supplied a copy of the report and prescription, and then applied for a permit to import Twinvir for personal use. This was issued within the hour - again, no fuss.
My contact at Incepta in Dhaka, Bangladesh, was Leon Hasan Mahbubul. I emailed him a copy of the permit, report and prescription, along with a copy of my passport details page and local residence visa. Leon dispatched the Twinvir via DHL the next day and the drugs arrived last night via Bangkok and Hongkong. I took the first tablet on 20 January. From the date of the first test (30 Dec) to receiving the Twinvir took 20 days. Not sure how easy it is elsewhere, but the process for acquiring the Twinvir is not something I could ever complain about.
Did I mention that Leon sent the shipment before I had paid for it? I sent the US$1450 via Western Union to him payable in BTK. Regardless what happens with my treatment, Leon's generosity and Incepta's supply readiness are things I'll never forget.
I'm 10 days into the treatment. No adverse side effects. Am I imagining a sense of increased alertness and a sharper definition to the things I see around me? I won't be taking liver tests or checking for detection until around 8 weeks, so till then I'll continue not trying to thinking too far ahead and just pop that Twinvir tablet every morning.
To everyone else, thanks again for sharing your stories - truly moving and courageous stuff.