The Bright Side
Last updated: February 2023
Being diagnosed with a disease is not generally a good thing, but there are some things one can point to which are positive. If you are experiencing symptoms without an apparent cause, knowing why can help us to better deal with the news.
Personally, I had years of worsening symptoms, and although being diagnosed with hep C was frightening at first, there was at least an answer that had eluded and frustrated me for far too long in the search for a cause.
Turning something negative into something positive
As time passed and my understanding improved, it became less scary. One of the amazing things that came out of my own hep C journey was meeting some wonderful people who gave me the knowledge and courage to carry on even when it felt like there was not going to be a tomorrow or that it could be worse than today.
Some days were rough indeed, beyond belief but real without question. Knowing that others had a harder time gave me no comfort, and now looking back and knowing just how bad it could have been only makes me more pleased that nobody must endure these things ever again.
That is not to say that people with other treatments or procedures did not suffer, but this was something I knew and lived. It is not a competition about who suffers most, only an honest look at what so many of us did experience in our desire to be well again and free from the ravages of a virus that is now easily eliminated/cured, or whatever we call it.
Seeing people achieve SVR/cure without the pain and difficulties of Interferon is without question a hugely positive thing, and I wish it was possible for even more peers who deserve the same. There remain barriers that are nonsensical and defy all that we know now about what a virus like hep C will do to us; to any of us, over time.
Looking to the bright side
Unfortunately, hep C has once again been shoved aside in importance with the recent pandemic; historically and currently, it just doesn’t get the attention and is not prioritized as a real public health risk, despite how many are sick and how so many more are lost to care, and more are dying.
This is not positive. We can meet the goals of elimination.
We do have the tools to make this happen, and as far as I see it, it is quite simple to do if we act and stop pretending it is not the terrible thing it is for millions of our fellow human beings, just like we have done with HIV, Covid, or any other virus that humanity has faced.
Science has been lightning fast in terms of the vaccines and treatments that we have developed, and other research has made it possible to cure hep C and, in some cases, prevent infections that were a death sentence not so long ago.
Why would we not seek to screen and test, treat, and protect people from life-stealing diseases? It is a great hope that we will respond to hep C with appropriate action, and shine the light on this monster and ignore it no longer.
We can defeat it, and that is very much the bright side.