Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer
An image of a woman surrounded by a group of people looking skeptical and scared.

Who Can I Trust?

Who can I trust? Well, it depends on what we are trusting people to do or say. When it comes to who you trust with the disclosure of your hep C, it depends. There’s a lot of things we need to consider.

Understanding risk for transmission

I talk to a fair number of people who are asking about how hep C can be passed on (transmission), and most often in the context of sex, whether because they have been diagnosed or their sexual partner has. I will take a leap in saying that most people know that the highest risk today is through the sharing of drug use equipment, but as we know, many people have contracted hep C by other means. Sexual transmission risk is low but not zero. So my response is to advise people to practice safe sex unless in a long-term relationship with only one partner.

Getting back to who we can trust with the knowledge we are living with hep C — it raises a number of questions and concerns to consider. Trust is paramount if you want it to be kept confidential. Not everyone is able to consider our wishes for confidentiality, not to mention our right to be respected regardless of a medical condition and entirely irrespective of the method of transmission.

Who deserves our trust?

Who we trust is subjective, meaning we all have different measures we use to decide who deserves or warrants our trust. Because of the stigma around hep C, which is alive and well. Even now, it is not something that many people share widely. Rightly so for some, as we can be discriminated against in ways that are difficult to overcome. Our friendships can be affected, and employment options, and many others.

We all deserve to feel safe, and we all deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Ignorance of basic things like transmission ca,n and usually is the place where stigma lives, along with bias, and discrimination. Unfortunately because of the ignorance about hep c, most people never share their status with anyone beyond those few who are close.

No one deserves disrespect

I get it. And I never judge or advise people to be open about their hep C. Another piece of this troublesome puzzle, which is particularly problematic, is that some people will withdraw and isolate themselves. This is never a good direction for any of us. I know it personally, having done it myself.

As I have said before, I think we should carefully consider who needs to know whether we have hep C. It is a personal choice. Do not let others sway or deflect the issues that you hold true. I think it is quite normal for us not to share all of our problems or concerns with everyone we know or meet. How much we trust in those we know, the more comfortable we are in sharing our hep C status.

A personal decision

I am in no way suggesting that you shouldn’t share. Which people and how many people you disclose to, or trust, it is up to you.

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.


  • Kathy D
    11 months ago

    I was making my HCV status to the medical field known but now prefer to keep my status on a need to know basis only.

  • Daryl Luster author
    11 months ago

    I respect each persons decision because it is our decision to make. Some suggest that we will never end stigma unless we all disclose openly, but there can be risks that not everyone is secure in taking. Maybe at some time you will feel differently, but nobody but you has the right to share your status.I know some people who told others they had a blood disorder, and generally people don’t dig deeper. I think we need to be honest with our partner or spouse but as far as I am aware there is no legal obligation yet.

  • Poll