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Some Facts About Hepatitis C

I was inspired by a friend’s comment to me about writing something about hep C facts. Initially I was reluctant to do it because I try to speak to people in the ways they speak to me, and derive my inspiration from the experiences people have shared with me over the years. I also draw on my own experience but know that it is only my experience and although it is similar to many others, it still is just my own.

One very basic fact about hep C is that if you are one of the 150-170 million living with hepatitis C globally, and whether you live in a hut or a mansion or have no home at all, you are no less or more deserving of care and treatment. We all are. Some people may argue this but to me it is fact.

Another fact is that hep C will cause damage to us all in time, but at a different rate. There is no question about whether it does cause damage to the liver, but it also affects other systems. Some will progress to have more serious and diminished health and wellness much faster than others.

There are some things that will exacerbate fibrosis, and this is what we hear about as criteria for severity of disease as well as a qualifying measure for access to treatment. In combination with HCV there are diseases and conditions, which put an extra burden on the liver and speed up damage to the organ and impact on the many things the liver is responsible for. Poor diet and what is thought of and described as an unhealthy life-style also contribute to worsening disease.

Some people have treated multiple times with Interferon alone or in combination with an antiviral drug called ribavirin. The resulting side effects often caused people to not only stop their treatment because of these difficult side effects, but to develop serious health concerns, some of which are permanent and require ongoing treatment themselves. This is a fact because not only do I fit in this category but thousands of others do too. It is undeniable.

Another key fact is that hepatitis C is curable. It always surprises me how few people know this, even with all the efforts we have made to inform more people, it still remains unknown to the general population.

A fact, which remains fluid, is the number of people who remain untested, who are living with HCV. I am at a loss to give an accurate number because it depends on where you live and what demographic you are part of. Prevalence is different in age cohorts (groups) and countries, as well as what we call distinct or different populations. The fact remains to me that more people need to be tested, and in the US, Canada, and other countries we need to see greatly enhanced testing programs.

I could go on and on and share data from innumerable studies, but the main thing is that if you think you are at risk, and millions of us are in one measure or another, get tested and seek care if you are diagnosed with chronic hepatitis C.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.