There was a TV program in my youth where one of the lead characters was famous for saying “just the facts Ma’am” and for many of us it was and even remains a little humorous when we hear or recall it. We hear a lot about facts and fact checking, and who can argue with facts anyway? Surprise! I can argue with some facts because as we hear recently in the political arena; people are claiming alternate facts. Well, many journalists replied with great disdain and to be honest I found it mildly amusing and troubling both at once.
I am not going to talk politics, don’t worry
When it comes to facts as they pertain to hep C it is not a lot different in terms of what the facts are, or thought to be. As I am fond of saying about science and medicine, what we believe is true today will surely be wrong tomorrow. Science and medical knowledge, or any other knowledge, is not static, and it is changing more rapidly now than ever before, especially when it comes to medical science. The advent of drugs that cure hep C that are so much easier are an amazing advance in virology medicine make no mistake. There are now and will be new questions that need asking and addressing, as hep C is not “done and dusted” as I have heard some experts suggests, as they shift their attention away.
Well we know that is not true, and because of a number of facts and evidence. Not everyone has been diagnosed, not everyone has ready access to care and treatment, so any suggestion that hep c is solved and it is time to move on is wrong. Okay, getting off my advocate soapbox, for now, we know some facts that are very real if we are living with or have lived with hep C. Is it the sort of evidence that can be summed up in an academic paper? Perhaps not as easy as all that, and the sharing of experience does help us deal with some of the realities we face when diagnosed with hep C.
A few of those new realities include:
- Stigma and discrimination
- Terrible fatigue
- Financial burden (lack of housing and food security)
- Access to appropriate care and treatment (including after care)
- Mood challenges (mental health)
Life with hep C has some extra barriers to overcome
The fact is that there are many issues we face that do not have a box to tick or an obvious answer or place we can find what we require to deal with hep C. You know what I am talking about, unless you are one of the lucky ones who doesn’t experience any of these barriers, conditions, or other obstacles. That can be a good thing, but if it keeps you from being diagnosed in a climate of little interest in robust testing programs or you have no doctor who is aware of any risks of exposure you may have, or is simply unaware of hep C risks and general knowledge about it.
Just some facts, man.