Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer

All Kinds of People Have Hep C

I was driving in my car earlier today and a song played called “Every kinda people”.

It reminded me of all the different people I have met from the hep c community. All races, ages, gender, and from every imaginable walk of life and every kind of personality have shared their own unique experience with me in fighting HCV. No surprise to me about the diversity of community, but it might surprise some people who have this idea that we are a singular type of person. They are wrong.

The differences extend into how the virus affects us, just as diversely as we are in other ways.
Some people experience no symptoms for years and even decades while others will be sick in a short period of time. Some people experience mood disorders while other do not, and so it goes with almost all the different symptoms we can develop as a result of living with the virus. Evidence has suggested that some people will advance to cirrhosis in a decade while others can live with the virus for decades without developing cirrhosis.

How differently we each cope with chronic infection is a mystery to me, despite all that I have read, heard or seen. Some of us are devastated while others take it in their stride. What in our lives prepares us for dealing with a serious chronic infection like hep c? I don’t think anything really prepares us in any real way, regardless of how strong we believe we are. Without question we share a lot of things as people and for those of us with HCV we are of lived experience.

Nobody can know how it is to live with hepatitis c without having lived with it. This is not an exclusive club as it turns out, and we certainly appreciate any help from those who don’t have the lived experience we share in community. We are not a small number either, despite how we have been treated for so long. It looks like we may have turned the corner in recent years with new and more effective treatment, which now offers a cure for most. Access remains difficult for many people who are diagnosed with hep c but I remain hopeful.

People often ask me about whether this or that is familiar to me, and honestly I see many similarities of experience. In my work I speak to a lot of people at various stages of their hep c journey and it makes sense that after listening to thousands of people ask questions and tell me about how they are impacted, I will see some familiar patterns. There are some things that are common with lots of people-the fatigue is the most common without question, with brain fog being second, and anxiety or mood changes being common, but after that it is a number of things like nausea, joint pain and a range of symptoms.

In my final analysis I think it takes all kinds of people to make a community and we are changed in all sorts of ways as a result of having hep c. If we continue to share in our experiences we find common ground in knowing we are not alone.

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