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a series of varying couples, each in a loving embrace

Would You Still Love Me?

A sensitive topic I’ve written about before is when one partner has hep c and the other does not. How do you talk about this? I sat down and interviewed my now husband on this very topic.

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My husband's perspective

I was already cured by the time we started dating, but I wanted his true feelings and thoughts about this had I still had hep C. To him, when I shared my story, the word “cured” meant he gave no extra thought on it.  He said however, if you had told me you have hep C, I would have had more questions and been more standoffish. He said his thought would be "What does this mean to me if I get involved with her? How do I get it? Can I get it?" He said, in all honesty, he would have been afraid.

How couples can respond

This is where it is super scary for both sides, when a person diagnosed with hep c is diagnosed – those around pull away due to lack of knowledge about hep C. Getting together, sharing thoughts, fears, concerns and being open and honest is the key. Find everything you can about hep c and learn it together. Once you can know the risks of contraction, you can feel more in control of the situation. But like any disease, being fearful is a natural response. We must protect ourselves and certainly it is on our minds to do so.  No one is trying to be disrespectful to the person who has it, but fear of the unknown, no matter what it is in life, is always a stop in time.

Tips and lessons learned

I do not know how I would have reacted if I did have hep C still and felt him pull away from me. As a patient, this is our biggest fear; Isolation and loneliness are part of diagnosis, which I hope changes as more is known of hep c.

Depending on your own personal relationship and time together, I feel it is best to educate yourselves and seek therapy. This will give both patient and partner a way of expressing their fear and having a professional to guide them. Keep in mind both of you have a legitimate fear of this and getting tested was the right thing to do. Stay positive and know there are amazing cures now available. You did the right thing in getting tested before more damage is done to your liver.

EDUCATE. SEEK HELP. GET TREATED. MOVE ON IN LIFE. Good things are on your horizon!

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