If you have hemophilia A (also called classic hemophilia), you are missing or have a deficiency (lower level) of clotting factor VIII (FVIII). This means that your blood cannot successfully form a clot. Hemophilia A is hereditary. Because it is an X-chromosome-linked condition, males are more typically affected and therefore more frequently diagnosed. Hemophilia A affects 1 in 5,000 male births in the U.S., and approximately 400 babies are born with hemophilia each year. Four hundred thousand people worldwide are living with hemophilia, and about 20,000 are living with it in the United States. All races and economic groups are affected equally. Most people with hemophilia A who have access to factor replacement therapy have a normal life expectancy and are able to lead a fairly normal life.

If you have hemophilia A, you should have regular checkups with a hematologist or visit an HTC annually. If you or someone in your family experiences hemophilia A symptoms, and you have not yet been diagnosed, you should contact your medical provider for a referral to a hematologist or HTC for testing and diagnosis.

Fun Facts About Hemophilia A

  • The name Bethesda Units (BUs) was adopted at a conference that occurred in Bethesda, MD.
  • Alternative Names: factor VIII deficiency; classic hemophilia; bleeding disorder – hemophilia A
  • Famous people with hemophilia A:
  • Ryan Wayne White: Born on December 6, 1971 in Kokomo Indiana, Ryan had prolonged bleeding after his circumcision and was diagnosed with severe hemophilia A. In December 1984, he had severe pneumonia. The doctors diagnosed him with AIDS and said he only had 6 months to live. Ryan got AIDS from blood transfusions—blood was not screened for diseases then. When his school told him he was not allowed to attend due to his disease, his parents filed a law suit through the U.S. District Court in Indiana. They eventually won the law suit, which made national headlines. Despite what the doctors said, Ryan lived until April 8, 1990. His funeral was attended by 1,500 people, including Elton John, Barbara Bush, Howie Long, Phil Donahue, and Michael Jackson. []
  • Alexandrea Borstein: Alex was born on February 15, 1973 in Highland Park, Illnois. She is an actor, comedian, and film writer. She is most famous for being the voice of Lois Griffin on Family guy. She also played Miss Swan on MADtv. She made apperances in films such as Killers, Good Night and Good Luck, Catwoman, Dinner for Schmucks, Bad Santa, The Lizzie McGuire Movie, and Kickin and Screamin. She also wrote and did voice acting for many other shows such as Power Rangers, Barbie, Casper, and Pinkie and the Brain. Alex has hemophilia A.
  • Barry Haarde: Barry Haarde had severe hemophilia A and was a 30+ year survivor of HIV and Hepatitis C virus (HCV), contracted through blood products used to treat hemophilia, before his death in 2018. He suffered from peripheral neuropathy and had a total knee replacement. He lived and worked in Houston, TX. In 2012, Barry made history by riding across the United States from Astoria, Ore., to Portsmouth, NH, a 3,667-mile ride that he completed in 50 days. He started a fundraiser called “Wheels for the World” to raise funds for Save One Life (an organization that brings clotting factor to people in third world countries). He was the first person to bike across America for Hemophilia and the first person to do so with Hemophilia, HIV, and HCV. In 2013, Barry made his journey once again but did so in 30 days, riding from Costa Mesa, CA to Amesbury, MA, a 3,456-mile trip.
  • Jesse Schrader: Jesse was born on August 21, 1979 and lives in Cleveland, OH. Jesse was a professional baseball player (a left-handed pitcher whose pitch was clocked at 92 MPH) in an independent league. He attended Tiffin UniverPrintsity on a baseball scholarship, where he holds the record for strikeouts in 9 innings. He has Hemophilia A and would have to ice his arm after every game he pitched. He was able to play baseball because he took extra care of his body.
  • Alex Dowsett is a professional racing cyclist from England. Some of his big wins include the British National Time Trial Championship in 2011 and 2012 and Tour of Britain in 2011. Alex was an Olympic hopeful in 2012 but was unable to compete due to a broken elbow that required surgery. Alex has Hemophilia. Speaking on ITV’s Cycle Show in July 2013, he talked about his medical condition as being a key factor in his choosing competitive cycling in his youth, above other sports, because contact games such as football and rugby were considered too risky. Due to his bleeding disorder, he has a special exemption from the Union Cycliste Internationale’s “no needles” policy. He infuses every 48 hours. Dowsett runs the charitable foundation Little Bleeders to raise awareness of hemophilia.

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