Truth and Consequences
Having spoken about truth in an earlier piece, I dug into how it is a subjective thing with differing versions of truth that we believe, what I personally believe may vary dramatically on some issues, to you or anyone else. This is a good thing in general, at least most of the time, and unanimous agreement is not so uncommon but as we know it is not a requirement for most things to be considered in the best interest of a community or society.
Faith vs. Fact?
Faith and science are sometimes at odds with one another, as we have seen over centuries of human history. A truth that a majority believes may not always be in our best interest. This has caused people to rise up against the mainstream beliefs, with both good and bad consequences in history. A good analogy is the long held belief that women were less intelligent, worthy to vote or even own property. Sounds crazy to us now, but these were just a few of the things that were held up as truths, and not the worst ones either. How many people believe in any of those things now in our society? Not many, but there are a few I am sure.
This is one example of a perceived truth causing harm, and it was the determination of women and a few men who supported them, that saw these “truths” change and become fair or at least fairer. Social norms and attitudes change over time, and this is a truth for me, but that does not mean that we should all sit around and wait for things to change if we see an injustice that needs our support. It all depends on our perspective, and this is another subjective truth.
The consequences as they relate to hep C are directly connected to perceptions of what is true or accurate. We see a lot of misinformation in the world when it comes to things hep C related. The consequence is that fewer people are being tested than should be, and fewer people are linked to the right care they need, and that includes treatment but not exclusively.
Addiction, Stigma, & Hep C
One sad consequence we are seeing; in those who use drugs, is death from an overdose caused by strong pain medications, such as Fentanyl, which is much more powerful that all the familiar ones. This is, in fact, a crisis across North America with thousands dying at an alarming rate. It affects users who come from diverse demographic populations young and old. This is a truth that carries the most severe consequence of all – death.
This crisis is in need of stepped up harm reduction (prevention) activities. Hep C pales in comparison to other concerns in the drug user population, which by the way, are mostly younger folks, not baby boomers like me who have mostly lived with hep C for decades and without question need improved testing of hep C and linkage to care.
These are truths that for me have consequences we can no longer ignore.