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5 people sit on a discussion panel with mics in front of each of them. A green ribbon for hep C awareness flies behind them in the background.

Ask The Advocate: Hepatitis C Awareness

Hepatitis C is a complex condition, often surrounded in stereotypes, misconceptions, and stigma. As we wrap-up Hepatitis Awareness Month, we wanted to shine a light on hepatitis C awareness, and the many different people affected by hep C worldwide. To better understand the realities of hepatitis C, we asked our advocates, “What does hepatitis C awareness mean to you?”. Check-out their responses below, and share your own opinions in the comments below!

From Connie

Personally, hepatitis C awareness is three-fold. First, getting tested for hepatitis C and learning how to take care of yourself to help your liver. Second, being proactive; Form your healthcare team and get treatment. Thirdly, share your story with others, educate them to the facts and myths of hepatitis C, and encourage others to get tested.

Want to talk anonymously? Click to take the Hepatitis C In America Survey

From Daniel

First, it means accepting the diagnosis and working to improve/maintain one’s health. Second, gaining access to all available information to better understand the illness, treatments, risks, and outcomes.

Awareness has connected me to others that had or have hep C, brought me out of isolation and denial, and offered a sense of optimism. Acceptance was less scary and intimidating than I thought it would be. It validated good habits (diet, exercise, and lifestyle) and enlightened me that treatments were improving and expanding.

From Daryl

Awareness about hepatitis C is crucial in a number of ways. Awareness benefits people who are at risk for transmission, those that have been diagnosed, family and friends of the same, and society on the whole. Awareness helps to build support and facilitate advocacy for policy change that can change attitudes about hep c, as well as affect policy around access to care, testing, etc.

For those at risk, awareness helps to make people aware that they should seek out testing, harm reduction, and appropriate healthcare, as necessary. For the people who are diagnosed, awareness about their illness helps to empower them in making decisions about ways to prevent transmission, engage in care, and better understand how hep C affects them. Awareness and understanding with family and friends helps to establish the important role that these supports can play when dealing with hep C.

From Karen

Hepatitis C awareness means we all experience less stigma. When people understand how hep C is transmitted, it helps to make it easier for us to talk about. We can get the medical help, and also also talk to family and friends about having the virus, in a judgment-free zone. It also helps to increase advances in treatments. The more researchers who are aware, and working on new drugs, the quicker hep C will no longer be an epidemic. I also feel that funding for treatment is more widely available because people who have hep C are now talking more openly and seeking assistance in paying for treatment.

From Kim

Hepatitis C awareness, to me, is putting your personal story out there for others. Not many people are aware of what hepatitis C is or they have a false version of facts about it. Awareness helps, because many people do not know that they know anyone who has it or had it.

Editor’s Note: Are you afraid to talk about your hepatitis C? Some people want to learn more about hep C, but also want to keep their diagnosis private. At HepatitisC.net, there are ways to get information and connect with others, without revealing your identity. Click here to learn more about how to talk about hep C anonymously.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The HepatitisC.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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