A New Year

With the close of 2016 and the dawn of a new year it is for many of us a time of reflection on the past year, and a look forward to the possibilities for the year ahead, and beyond. Aside from the usual resolutions of losing weight, quitting smoking, getting fit, finding a new job, buying new shoes, or any number of others it may be a continuation of some battles or goals you started in 2016 or well before, as our lives are not measured exactly by the calendar year. Unfinished business comes to mind, like many in our community; you too will be seeking treatment for hep C and a cure once and for all.

Strange as it may seem to some of us, not everyone has been treated yet, and it remains his or her single most important job ahead. With the drug therapy developments in recent years – we can realistically expect a cure for nearly all who are able to access the drugs.

Looking Forward to the Work Ahead

Looking ahead to this next year I am excited to begin again and continue with some projects I have been given an opportunity to pursue. They all focus on hepatitis C and although different in structure they address the core issues of education and awareness. One project is expanding an existing platform in an effort to reach more people with peer support and navigation. Peer involvement is at the center of my own work in hep C and our participation in the care and decisions about the programs that are developed and implemented. Implementation is what we want to see, and with our partners in the medical and science communities it is my hope that we can gain better care and access for people affected regardless of their past or present situation. Harm reduction remains an important part of the work underway to prevent future transmission and deaths like we have seen increase in this last year. We can all play a part in designing and putting into action what can do the most good following the best practices.

Hope for 2017

I hope that you have hope for this New Year ahead. As you have read before in my own writing and the writings of others, hope is the single most important piece in achieving improved help regardless of the condition or problems one faces.

My hope for all people is that you are able to get the testing, care and treatment you deserve. I hope that we will see a more positive and better understanding by all people about what living with hepatitis C can be like. I hope that stigma is reduced even more and there is an end to the divisive and hurtful language and narrative that surrounds HCV. It is not what defines us, and we can change outcomes for ourselves and beyond. Hold your head up and face the New Year with dignity and determination and nobody will stop you.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The HepatitisC.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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