“My advice is to speak to a doctor about what strain of virus you might have as soon as possible to find out your options. This is really important as hepatitis C is a silent killer and action needs to be taken before it gets worse.”
“I’m going to try and break the stigma”
There are many hep C stories out there. This is Tim’s.
“My name’s Tim, my experience around hepatitis is that my doctor found it by chance really. They did a liver function test on me results came back massively abnormal. I never shared needles, any / no paraphernalia whatsoever and I genuinely, genuinely thought it would never ever, ever happen to me. When I got that, the diagnosis of hepatitis and they told me that it was killing me basically, because I had had it for years.
It made me realise that I wasn’t invincible. I got given maximum 12 months, best case scenario 12-18 months, worst case scenario 6-12 months to live, if I didn’t start the treatment, so I had to start the treatment straight away. It’s an 11 month treatment and it was hard, it was hard; it made me angry, it made me intolerant. My son lives with me, he’s seen me go through an awful lot and he’s saved my life basically. There were suicide attempts, there was self-loathing, self-pity. I’ve heard some horror stories off people that I speak to they go into places, they’re stigmatised, ‘it’s dirty…it’s a smack heads disease’, and stuff like that, but it’s not, that’s not the case I mean you’ve got people who were born in the baby boom generation, 45-69, there’s loads of people with hepatitis who are undiagnosed that don’t realise.”
“Getting self-worth back is, I think it’s huge, and I just thought to myself then, I’m going to let as many people know about it and try and break the stigma. Everybody, no matter what your situation, no matter how you caught it, no matter your lifestyle: whether you’re homeless, whether you live in a mansion, it doesn’t make a difference. Everybody deserves a chance to live, because it is the silent killer.”
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