David Proulx was diagnosed with hepatitis C in 2003, but he suspects he contracted the virus decades earlier. He injected drugs in the 1970s and picked up several tattoos when he was first incarcerated in the early 1980s. Over the years, the infection wreaked havoc on his liver. Within a year of diagnosis, he received antiviral drugs to treat the disease, but the medicine failed to eliminate the virus. Proulx had run out of options. In 2011, however, the US Food and Drug Administration approved two new medications to treat hepatitis C. Clinical trials indicated that these drugs could help individuals like Proulx who had previously failed other therapies.