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What’s the Problem?

Well, I want to tell you what the problem is, and it isn’t good either. The problem: Whatever you are dealing with that makes it more challenging to enjoy a reasonable quality of life- anything that prevents a fair measure of joy and or brings on pain or misery. If we don’t have joy, we have a problem, Houston.

What is the problem then? You probably know, and if you don’t know, you should find out! Of course, I am talking about hep C.

The first problem: Knowing if you actually have hep C

To be clear, I don’t mean just antibody-positive, because if that is what you have, you may be just fine (as in cured or not living with chronic hep C). First, make sure your healthcare provider makes it very clear what it is you have been tested for, and what those test results mean. Now look, we solved one problem already- yahoo!

Why? I have had so many people tell me that they were told they “have hep C” when they have not been tested for chronic hep C, and there is a huge difference. Many of you know this, but some, maybe a few, will not know. I am referring to people who are tested for antibodies alone and told they “have hep C”- this is a problem.

The next problem: The long-term impacts of hep C

Having hep C can be a big problem for some of us, and in a whole array of ways. I never want to exaggerate or play down the risks or any of the issues that we can face when living with hep C. The damage that can occur over time is no joke, and varies so widely in each person that it is nearly impossible to predict with any absolute certainty. Yes, we know about the liver damage and the extra-hepatic manifestations that can be as destructive to our liver health, but again, there is no way to predict the speed or severity that you, or anyone, will face.

Another problem: How hep C actually affects people

This does, in no way, suggest we should just set it aside as unimportant, because chances are that we will have a problem, and most will, over time- it could be 3 years or 30 years. For me, this is a big concern when addressing hep C from a population-based approach. Sure, there are ways that we can generalize about any disease or population affected, but it’s just not that simple when we look at the bigger picture- especially for us personally, you and me. If we want to scale-up a local, regional, or national response, there needs to be a big picture plan that looks at capturing a how the majority of the people affected on a daily basis. Is there such a plan in place now?
If there isn’t, that’s a problem.

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.