The Next Big Thing
When it comes to hep C, is there a next big thing we are all waiting for? Nothing big in the science of treatment is in the pipeline, with very effective options already available for all genotypes and stages of liver damage... so what is new and exciting depends on one’s own perspective.
If hep C is new to you, that can feel like a huge thing, and how you are dealing with the news can be big too. I did not deal with the news very well, to be honest. I thought my life was over, but I didn’t really know anything about it. That was a long time ago, and when my knowledge improved, it was better. I think that this is true for us all, and not so unique in itself. We choose how much we need or want to know, and for some of us it is a lot, while for others we are content to leave it in the hands of the care provider/doctor, if we have one. Not having one can be a massive thing, and that is no surprise. It complicates our desire to be hep C free. There are ways, so don’t despair, because there are people who are here to help you navigate the process.
Treatment is a big thing, and like the rest of us, you are probably wanting to get rid of hep C if you haven’t already.
That is a big thing, and it sure was for me too. A big thing, hands down, being hep C free/cured!
Eliminating hep C
On the big stage, I think the next really big thing is hep C elimination globally. Elimination does not mean total eradication, but it does mean a reduction of 90% in new infections by 2030, just ten years away. This is a goal set out by the World Health Organization in 2016, as part of their forward looking global viral hepatitis goals. Most countries have signed on to this Global Health Sector Strategy (GHSS), and while some are on track, others are woefully slow in their response.
Can we do this huge thing remains the challenge for all of us whether or not we are working in the sector, whether hep C (HCV) or hep B (HBV). Hep B and C are causing more deaths globally than HIV, TB, and malaria combined. That is a big and very sad thing in an era where there are vaccines and curative treatments that can effectively diminish mortality (deaths) caused by both hep B and c.
What you can do
How we achieve these goals is up to us all, and it does not have to be a big thing each of us does. It can be as simple as making someone aware of what hep C is and what they can do to get tested. I understand that we don’t all feel secure in talking about hep C because of the stigma, but if you feel safe and secure enough, this is one way you can make a difference, and some of you already have.
Have you been diagnosed with cirrhosis?