a man is clearly frustrated as he bites his nails

Mounting Frustrations and Setbacks

Frustrations and setbacks - words are loaded with meaning, especially right now. I don’t know about you, but my own level of frustration may be reaching an all time high. It is not so unique to me, I am sure, and all anyone has to do is look around us and listen to what people are saying and expressing (not only in words but actions too) that would have seemed impossible a year ago, even for the most cynical among us.

Millions of people are living with hep C

What are your frustrations, like everything else, are sure to vary from mine or others, but taking a great leap, they are really not so different, right? In my work, the work that I am doing now for years, it feels like we have made some profoundly disturbing steps backwards. That is not surprisingly in the area of advocating for more awareness and actions that will stop hep C, a pandemic on its own with some 71 million living with it globally. On a more local level, where my work is situated, the data is not good for any forward movement and we have lost ground in testing and treatment, not to mention all the other indicators of any success.

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Barriers around treatment

We are treating fewer people, period, and that began the year before the COVID-19 pandemic. In the last 10 months, hep C treatment has reduced in an alarming way, with no signs that anything is going to slow that slide. Frustrating? Yes, it sure is, after some very real signs that we were moving in the right direction, but once again, hep C is not receiving the attention it should. Treating is now so easy for the majority of people, that we could almost treat ourselves, yet there is still none of the pieces in place that will address the need.

I am frustrated

People continue to get sick with hep C, and yes, not everyone has symptoms or horrible ones at least, but some need care and they need it sooner than sometime in the future. OK, so I am frustrated... So, what? We all are, right? We are frustrated about COVID and politics and the way things we took for granted are seeming to be such a challenge like we have never known. So, what do we do? Giving up or giving in to the challenges we face is not really an option is it. There are times when it is best to take a break from whatever frustrates us, and I am learning that lesson over and over these days.

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