Cured Now

Firstly, I want to say congratulations to anyone who is now able to say, “I am cured” of hepatitis c. Very good news indeed! Wow!

For most people it is a time for getting on with living life, and now a life free of hep c. That is an amazing realization and it sure is good to know. I know how that feels myself, and although it has been a while, I will never forget just how great it felt to hear those words. We hear it more and more nowadays and I never tire of reading it or hearing the words “I am cured”

Unfortunately, some people are not able yet to know how it feels. There remain barriers to care and treatment for far too many people. This is not fair, and I think we can all agree it is an unfortunate reality today. It is my hope that all people living with HCV will be able find a cure sooner rather than later.

There are issues that some of us face, even with a cure.

As I hear from people in community, they face any number of challenges directly or indirectly caused by living with HCV. They range from digestive complaints to bouts with depression and anxiety, and more. I have faced some of these myself since I was cured. Sometimes I wonder if the issues I have dealt with are age-related or entirely aside from HCV or treatment. I cannot say with absolute certainty, but I cannot believe they are not in some way connected. As time passes we are learning more about what are called extra-hepatic manifestations. In simple language it is about things other than the liver. The focus in the science and medical community has been on the damage caused to the liver by HCV.

Why has there been resistance to listening to the community affected?

I have some theories, but that is for another time. I believe that we now have an opportunity to be heard like never before, even if barriers still exist.

After cure, some people will want to get involved in helping and in sharing their experiences in the hope that others will benefit from the insights that only people with lived experience can know.

Lived experience is something we have because we have lived with hepatitis c, whether for a few years or for decades. We can also share our experience in treatment and beyond to those who seek insights and the knowledge that they are part of a community and do not need to walk alone.

Others can have empathy, and many will, but nobody can know what we have lived with like we do. I am not suggesting we are some kind of exclusive club that deserves special status, only that we have a unique insight that only those with lived experience can know. The sharing of experience can inform and this can help eliminate stigma in people outside of the affected community.

Some will feel uncertainty, once the initial euphoria settles, and I hope this passes, but I know it can be difficult when faced with health challenges caused by hep c over time.

No matter what road you choose, there is a good reason to have hope.

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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