written by reader Hepatitis with a C: Right Now Someone You Know Has It (and Doesn’t Know)

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About HCV But Were Afraid to Ask

By DrKSSMDPhD, May 12, 2014

[Ed. Note: Here is the latest contribution from Dr. KSS, who writes for the Irregulars about medicine and biomedical stocks. As always, he has agreed to our trading restrictions and his words and thoughts are his own.]

The Belle of the Everglades

How To Profit From The Cure

First of Two Parts

Of the many scintillating people Australia has given the world, Rowland S. Howard is lesser-known. Howard was the wiry, mercurial, high-cheekboned Melbourne-born guitarist and songwriter for The Birthday Party before he and Nick Cave had creative differences and Cave broke away to form The Bad Seeds.

Howard became guitarist for highbrow rock act Crime and the City Solution, a group loved by German director Wim Wenders that figured conspicuously in his 1987 masterpiece Wings of Desire. In this high-definition clip from the film, the group performs “Six Bells Chime” and Howard is the antsy guitarist in black seen at 2:53. He played guitar in a distinctive discordant, assault-on-the-senses style that won fierce admirers, both among fellow musicians and audiences.

Rowland Howard (1959-2009) of Crime and the City Solution. He beat heroin, then beat hepatitis C. But a complication of hepatitis C that no one saw coming beat him.



Howard was a heroin addict with genotype 1b hepatitis C. A decade ago he succeeded at three very improbable things in a row. First, he quit heroin cold turkey without beginning a methadone program. Those who quit in this manner not only face withdrawal (e.g., the uncontrollable diarrhea seen in Trainspotting), but also cravings, dysphorias and the need to find new coping skills. Then, in short order, he demanded his physician begin him on PEG-interferon-alfa and ribavirin for the HCV even though the risk of this regimen’s ugly side effects pushing him to heroin relapse was high (he never shot up again, however). He completed all 72 weeks of the regimen. Even though his virologic chance of not succeeding in clearing the virus was as high as 85 per cent (because of having genotype 1b disease), Howard had sustained virologic response (he was cured). In life as in music, Howard astounded people.

Just when Howard had gotten his life back, with drugs he abused, doctor-directed drugs that “abused” him and a deadly virus all vanquished from his life, life turned on him and bit him fiercely in the backside. At the time he was treated for HCV, ...

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