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Climbing Mountains of Information

In the hepatitis c world we see mountains of information now.

It keeps piling up with each passing week. Unlike what was the case years back when there was so little information available unless you were a scientist or physician working in the area of treatment, research or development of new therapies, we now see volumes. This is generally a good thing regardless of your level of formal education or simple interest in learning about the impact it has on you or someone you know.

When I was diagnosed it was not so easy to find reliable information about HCV and took some obsessive research on my part to see the questions I had answered. Some were answered while others took some time to ferret out. Now I have to admit I had a lot of questions, and whether they were all relevant may be up for debate and some I abandoned years ago.

One example is how long the virus can remain viable or alive and infectious outside of the body on or in surfaces. The answers not so very long ago ranged from hours to months and confused me to no end. What was correct and how could a person deal with blood spills and practice prevention without accurate knowledge about something that seemed so obviously important to me.

The latest I am aware of suggests that it depends on where the virus is deposited, meaning that it looks like it can live better in places like syringes while not doing as well on surfaces with more exposure to air and can range up to several days.

The main message here is be careful with your blood or the blood of people around you who may have HCV-everybody in my view.

Modes of transmission are a huge issue, and understanding and applying the best and latest information is key when we are looking at preventing exposure and the spread of the virus.

There are countless places online where you can read about the subject of prevention and “harm reduction” as it is often called.

This is just one example of how much information is now available on issues around HCV. Scholars and novices alike have a platform, and the value of shared experience is key in the community.

The mountain may seem daunting at times and the information may appear to conflict at times too, but the fact that we now have so many great sources for information is great in my books.

This comes with a caution though, and the only reason that I say that is because in my work as a peer navigator I hear from people who have either read or misunderstood what they read and share erroneous or plainly incorrect knowledge or guidance.

It is difficult even for the most informed person to glean through the massive amounts of data and research available at a click online, and even the best minds in the world get it wrong sometimes, and my caution is not to suggest that one should not seek out answers, but using our critical thinking skills and asking questions is the best defense we have when deciding what sounds plausible or accurate.

Keep on reading and asking, it has worked reasonably well so far for me.

Remember that science is not standing still, as it changes constantly as we acquire more and more knowledge about HCV or anything else.

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.