[captionpix imgsrc=”http://lucindaporterrn.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/BrokenHeart.jpg” captiontext=”Image courtesy of smarnad/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net”]There are moments when it feels like my heart can’t take much more hepatitis C angst. My liver, on the other hand, can take it, as my liver is my core power source. But back to my broken heart. I just read an article reported in an Australian publication, 6 Minutes of Interesting Stuff for Doctors Today about the stigma attached to hepatitis C. Jacob George, Professor of Medicine and leading liver specialist at Sydney University in Australia, reported that fear of stigmatization is preventing many hepatitis C patients from seeking the care they need. Many are afraid to seek treatment, or even get diagnosed.
How has this happened? What have we done to make it so hard for patients all over the world to get help? These are useless questions. It is much better to ask, what can we do to change this? President Bill Clinton said, “Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, but stigma and bias shames us all.” The same can be said about hepatitis C.
It is time to stop whispering hepatitis C. Let’s shout, “I have hepatitis C and I am not going to be quiet anymore.” Perhaps our scared brothers and sister will hear us, and come out from the shadows of stigmatization, and get the care they need.