A hepatitis C story worth telling
The good news is that unlike many viruses, including HIV, we do have a way of clearing hepatitis C. We have hepatitis C treatment.1 Jul 2014
At the Academy Awards earlier this year, Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto won Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor for their respective portrayals of people living with HIV. I’m a scientist, not a film critic, but I couldn’t help but compare the Dallas Buyers Club with the lack of similarly insightful stories about people living with hepatitis C.
It’s a minor complaint, but it’s also symptomatic of the lack of understanding and awareness of hepatitis C infection. The World Health Organisationestimates 35.3 million people were living with HIV/AIDS worldwide in 2012, but up to 150 million people globally have chronic hepatitis C infection.
In England we have about 160,000 people chronically infected with hepatitis C. This virus causes inflammation of the liver, but because our livers can still operate when damaged, many people are completely unaware they have the infection.
The good news is that unlike many viruses, including HIV, we do have a way of clearing hepatitis C. We have hepatitis C treatment.
Treatment is not an easy road for everyone, but for the majority of people with hepatitis C, it represents a real opportunity to be clear of the virus and to live free from the fear of chronic liver disease and premature death. There are also new treatments on the horizon.
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