Two women gossiping while another woman cries

Living in a Small Town with Hep C

Last updated: February 2022

Some of you know what it’s like living in a small town. Everybody knows when the neighbor gets a cold.

The last thing you may want is for someone to find out that you or a loved one has hep C. The fear of gossip and the stigma may seem awful.

But is it really that bad? Let’s take a good look at what happens when you consider testing and treatment.

I live in the same small town that I grew up in. When I started treatment, my sis reminded me that most people in our small town gossip about hep C.

Everyone knows everyone

Literally, everyone knows everyone and gossip happens. The person who works at the doctor’s office knows all of your friends who work at the restaurant.

Everybody eats there and conversations are easy to hear. Who needs that kind of stress? 

You can get past that downside by being upfront and open about it. That’s what I did.

I told everyone that I had hepatitis C and I needed to get treatment. My doctor and their staff gave me some good leads to a liver specialist.

Soon I was on the list for the next round of treatment options and everybody knew about it.

Dealing with hep C stigma

Of course, there will be haters. There are judgy people in the world and they seem to enjoy putting others down. If you are like me and have a tender heart, it can be very painful.

I didn’t want my kids to experience stigma because of my hep C. I chose to not even think about it as something to be ashamed of.

My family knew that Nana had a blood virus and needed to take medicine. That helped us to ignore the downers.

Getting tested

Whether it’s you, your child, or another relative who has hep C, make a plan to get tested. Even if you have to drive to the next county to find a good clinic, make that appointment.

In fact, a county seat is usually the first place to look for medical care that will help you make a plan. Once you get the test back, you can start asking about treatment to get rid of hep C.

Ignore the stigma and stay positive

No matter what anyone says or thinks, keep going. You find out who your friends are when you’re down.

That includes discovering that you or a loved one has hep C. If you let it get you down, it’s easy to become stuck.

You’re not sure what to do, and you end up feeling bad about yourself. Connect with an online group like this one, and find support with others who will help you stay standing.

There will always be people who will do the right thing. They will support others who are having a hard time in life.

Even in a small town with a group of people who look down their nose at you, there are others who care. Any way you look at it, you can overcome gossip and stigma.

Then you can make a plan to get tested and treated. Keep your head up if you are living in a small town with hep C and even if you aren't.

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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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