Michael de Mesa was first diagnosed with hepatitis C in 1999. And now, nearly 20 years since and after a non-stop search for a cure, the screen veteran happily revealed he is freed of the disease.
On Instagram, the 58-year-old actor shared the results of his recent laborary test showing that there was "no detectable levels of HCV-RNA," meaning, in his words -- "I am cured of my hepatitis C!"
"It is gone! Praise God!" he wrote.
De Mesa explained that he first learned he no longer had the virus in December, but felt he needed to get retested "for good measure" last May 15, yielding this latest good news for him and his family.
The "Since I Found You" antagonist is part of the showbiz clan of Eigenmanns (his real surname), which include Cherie Gil, the late Mark Gil, Ryan Eigenmann, Sid Lucero and Andi Eigenmann.
"My wife, @julie_eigenmann, never really stopped searching for the cure," de Mesa narrated in his Instagram post. "Four years ago, the cure for Hep C was released but it was outrageously expensive!"
According to de Mesa, the Harvoni pill, at the time, had to be taken over 12 weeks, amounting to an estimated $90,000. Without going into details, de Mesa recalled that they eventually got in touch with an Australian person "who helps people with Hep C," from whom they learned of an alternative that only cost $1,000 for the same course of treatment.
"He also had the virus but was cured 3 years ago and he has helped so many people around the world," de Mesa said of the Australian.
The actor started this cheaper treatment in November 2017, when his "viral count was in the millions." But after only just four weeks into the treatment -- or eight weeks before he would complete it -- his viral count already went down to 1,200.
"Anything below 2,000 is actually considered undetected already," he explained. "By the end of the treatment, it was zero, zilch, nada, UNDETECTED!"
De Mesa shared the development on Thursday, May 24, his actual birthday.
Noting the occasion, he said: "I want to thank the Lord for another year of life. I also want to thank Him for bringing Julie into my life, making her His instrument, so that I can enjoy many more years with my loved ones."