68% Of Americans With HCV Are VETS?–HUH?

Member Loyal points out some interesting percentages in my last post :

I dispute the logic here:

“Dr. Stevens estimated the current in-service occurrence of hepatitis C at approximately 10%”;

Since this Veteran has a current diagnosis of Hep C, he falls within that 10% group, and is NOT part of the group of 90% of Veteran’s who DID NOT get hep C.

The 10% number does not mean that it is “less likely than not” he got Hep C from service. He is already in the 10% who DID GET hep C, and this eliminates the Veterans, statistically, who do not have hep C.
. About 36,000 people per year get hep C, according to this article:
This suggests that most of them come from military, because 10% of 28 million Vets would be 2.8 million Vets infected with hep C.

Now, consider the CDC site’s statistics:


This site says a total of 3.2 million people actually have it actively with 17,000 new cases annually. Additionally, 15%–25% of people “clear” the virus without treatment. Might not some of these be Vets who had it during inoculations but did not go on to develop it? If 10% of the Vet population is infected “currently”, does that not imply an active military cohort being actively infected today in 2012? If so, how, in the absence of the pneumatic injection devices since 1997? If unsanitary protocols were the culprit in a reduced cohort (in the sixties), how can there be increasing numbers all the way through to the 21st century? Logic is a non sequitur here.

If 10% of the 28 million-strong Vet population is indeed infected, that would constitute 2.8 millions of Vets out of a total, chronically infected population of 3.2 million. Even using a reduced figure of 2.3 million of the current 3.2 million yields the astronomical figure of 67% of all citizens currently infected with HCV are Vets.

Something is amiss. Could it be Doctor Dennis Stevens, noted head of the VA’s Infectious Diseases Section at the BFE VAMC in Idaho is incorrect? Does anyone think the CDC might find his logic faulty?

I have heard many numbers bandied about. One was that three (3) percent of the Veteran population is currently knowingly  infected. Since large numbers of tested Vets have never been properly notified of their infections, this quoted number is probably low.

Another number universally cited is that Veterans who served in the SEA theatre are 60% more likely to have HCV compared to Vets who did not serve in- theatre (EFTO).

Numbers are very malleable where the VA is concerned. Since the presumption of regularity attaches to their medical experts’ competence, who can argue with this unless… the facts are so out of touch with reality? I would cite this number in my decision if fighting VA. You would not be using the decision per se, but the findings of the VA’s very own expert (Dr. Stevens) now of record.  Sweet. If he’s correct, a clear majority of us must have been infected via jetguns  to reach that percentage. The only commonality among us  is the jetguns.

Think this through:

Further, this Court has held that the Board may assume a VA medical examiner is competent. Cox v. Nicholson, 20 Vet.App. 563, 569 (2007); Hilkert v. West, 12 Vet.App. 145, 151 (1999) (en banc) ( “[T]he Board implicitly accepted [the VA examiner’s] competency by accepting and relying upon the conclusions in her opinion.”), aff’d, 232 F.3d 908 (Fed. Cir. 2000) (table). The presumption of regularity supports this assumption, in that the presumption “‘. . . provides that, in the absence of clear evidence to the contrary, the court will presume that public officers have properly discharged their official duties.’” Rizzo v. Shinseki, 580 F.3d 1288, 1292 (Fed. Cir. 2009) (quoting Miley v. Principi, 366 F.3d 1343, 1347 (Fed. Cir. 2004)). “The presumption of regularity is not absolute; it may be rebutted by the submission of ‘clear evidence to the contrary’.” Ashley v. Derwinski, 2 Vet.App. 307, 309 (1992); see Hilkert, 12 Vet.App. at 151 (an appellant bears the burden of persuasion on appeals to this Court to show that the reliance of the Board on an examiner’s opinion was in error). Whether clear evidence exists to rebut the presumption of regularity is a question of law that the Court reviews de novo. Clarke v. Nicholson, 21 Vet.App. 130, 133 (2007).  Savoy v. Shinseki (2012)

So a smart Vet applying for HCV service connection can wrap this up in a very tidy bundle in short order. VA says this- ergo it follows that it is chiseled in stone because anything that comes from the mouths of these expert medical chuckleheads is Gospel. A=B, B=C, therefore A=C. The presumption of regularity can come back and kiss you like a barn door in a windstorm- or it can kiss the VA. Here is a classic example. Vets everywhere should get a bio on Dr. Stevens as soon as possible to pad their new presumptive claims. A nice barrage of thank you letters on a high-quality vellum would be in order after winning. His address is:

Doctor Dennis Stevens

Boise VA Medical Center

500 Fort Street
Boise, ID 83702

Telephone : 208-422-1000

Here’s Savoy: Go here first . Then type in 10-2748 in the searchbar.

Click on the blue download in the upper left to view normally


I’m guessing Dr. Stevens has no clue how famous he’s going to become. This also validates my theory of pie hole diarrhea.

About asknod

VA claims blogger
This entry was posted in All about Veterans, CAvC HCV Ruling, HCV Health, Important CAVC/COVA Ruling, Nexus Information, Tips and Tricks, Veterans Law and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to 68% Of Americans With HCV Are VETS?–HUH?

  1. Kiedove says:

    1. Well, “have it” should include those cleared via anit-viral treatment, or SVR, because even though considered 98% cured , blood tests, warn patients that the results are no guarantee that the virus is not present–just that it’s undetectable.
    2. There is a significant statistical association between MUNJIs and HCV and Vietnam veterans.
    (It would be very useful have breakdowns by service branch and boot camp location. The VA and CDC may already have that data–we should ask them for it!)
    3 I suspect that there is a statistical association between other combat theater veterans as well–especially Army veterans; I’ve read that they were the first recipients of vaccinations by MUNJIs.
    Question: What is the military history of MUNJI use by DOD. Exactly where and how was the program expanded?
    4. Any statisticians out there who can workout odds ratios? The VA does use statistical associations to prove presumptive SC diseases as well as direct known casual associations.
    5. Human testing (patient-to-patient) for an HCV casual associations isn’t possible because no one is going to volunteer for a trial that will expose them to HCV, HIV etc. Animal models using chimps would not be accurate because their skin and hair has different characteristics.
    6. Medical devices like MUNJIs can be tested using forensic tests. They already KNOW that RNA and DNA can transfer from patient-to-patient via MUNJIs.
    7. If recruit A has hepatitis (or any blood-borne pathodgen), the recruit directly downstream, is going to be exposed via cross-contamination from the MUNJI. How his/her body will handle the virus (or viruses) is an open question but they’ve developed statistics for those whose immune systems have cleared the disease. We need to get information from government statisticians and have them explained for general readers.
    8. MUNJIs are not the only medical devices that can transfer blood-borne pathogens like the hepatitis B & C, and HIV. . IVs,catheters, insulin pens, re-used syringes etc….may all have contributed to the crisis we see today. But all Vietnam veterans were subjected to vaccinations by MUNJIs. As you say, that’s the common denominator.
    9. Cross-contamination can occur patient-to-patient, health worker-to-patient, patient-to-health worker.
    10. Veteran health workers, like military dentists, seem to ALWAYS get THEIR HCV SC benefits approved. What’s up with that? Class bias at work?

    • Kiedove says:

      I forgot to bring up that the VA only has information on veterans who use the VA health care system or have registered. How many veterans use private-health care only?
      State surveillance for HCV is spotty at best.

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