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What to Say to Someone With Hepatitis C

What to Say to Someone With Hepatitis C

Finding out that a friend or loved one has HCV can be a shock. The diagnosis is life changing for everyone. You may want to reach out, but are not sure what to say. If you don’t know much about hepatitis C or liver disease, it can be a confusing time. If your friend or family member has liver disease, it can be frightening. When we’re confused or frightened, it is easy to stick our foot in our mouth.

Where do I start?

First of all, say something! I understand that some of you are shy. Also, there are times when words fail us and we aren’t sure of what to say. Even a sigh or groan can speak loud and clear… especially when it is delivered with a big hug or fist bump.

Here are a few tips for what to say to someone who has hepatitis C.

  1. “I’m so sorry that you have the virus.” Just letting them know you feel bad for them helps to take some of the sting out.
  1. “I’m glad that there is a treatment for HCV.” In the past, there was no cure, and it is reassuring to know that they can get totally rid of the virus.
  1. “I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.” A person with the hepatitis C virus can’t get enough good vibes. Share some love with texts, facebook, shout outs, emails, or phone calls.
  1. “This explains why you haven’t been feeling good.” When a person finds out they have the virus, it can almost be a relief. Maybe they have felt bad for some time and didn’t know why.
  1. “I’m sorry I judged you for being tired all the time.” A few family members said that and it made me feel better. I didn’t know why my body was tired and in pain.
  1. “Let me know what I can do to help support you.” Those words mean a million bucks. Even if they never ask you for anything, your words will echo in their ears during the hard times.
  1. “If you need any help getting to appointments, let me know.” Offering to drive someone to the doctor or lab is so nice! Just having that car ride with a friend or family member makes it more cheerful.
  1. “I’ll look up some recipes for a liver loving diet!” A healthy diet during treatment can make a huge difference. By offering to share a low sodium meal, you are being in solidarity with them!
  1. “Let’s find some good websites about hep C.” Reading other people’s stories and researching is one of the best things you can do to support them.
  1. “I know it’s only transmitted via blood-to-blood contact, so can I finish your cappuccino?” Honestly, finding a way to reduce their ignorance or fear about transmission can help a lot.

If you have just found out that someone you know and love has the hepatitis C virus, you are ready to chat them up and let them know how much you care.

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.