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A New Generation with Hep C

A new generation of people with hep C is moving across the globe. Most of us who are treating or cured can remember being diagnosed, and waiting for treatment to begin. You might be surprised to learn that a new generation with hep C are facing some of the same obstacles that the Baby Boomers have gone through.

Here are some of the obstacles faced by this new generation:

Getting treatment

The cure is here in the form of direct acting antivirals (DAAs), known to cure most genotypes of hep C. The problems is that many don’t have access to care. Some are turned away because of addiction, or even because they are “too healthy”. Left alone, they try to work while battling fatigue and are unable to stay with a job for long. The problem becomes compounded.

Stigma

Every one of us can identify with the stigma surrounding hep C. The fear of talking to our doctor may seem crazy, but not all medical providers are compassionate and caring. There are so many people who have not even told their own families that they have hep C for fear of being shamed.

No health care

There are still so many who don’t have access to reliable health care. We like to think that everyone can pick up the phone and call a doctor, but it’s not so. They may be able to find a walk in clinic, but if it’s overcrowded, they can get shuffled around and not receive treatment.

Transmission

It’s hard to believe that millions of people are infected with hep C and don’t even know it. They may be spreading the virus to others, continuing to be an epidemic world wide.

Addiction

Let’s face it, people use drugs for a variety of reasons. It may be recreational use, to relieve physical pain, as a way of escaping mental anxiety, or many other reasons. Once they become addicted, it’s hard to stop the cycle. If they get hep C by sharing a syringe, they face shame, isolation, illness, stigma, and many are unable to treat.

A problem close to home

Look around your community or family and see if there is someone that needs to get tested for hepatitis C. The path to freedom begins with a simple blood test. From there, they can try to overcome stigma and talk to a doctor. You can help link them with care while they are going through this.

We’ve all heard the numbers of new hep C infections that are happening each year. But more than statistics, what sticks with me are the people who make up this new group of hep C infected. If you or someone you love has hit roadblocks to treatment, or don’t have what they need to reduce transmission, reach out and send them here for more education. Stigma prevents people from getting cured. Addiction keeps them from moving forward with their lives. A new generation of hep C patients needs someone to reach out a helping hand and we are here to encourage them.

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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