The Stigma Among Hepatitis C Victims
Hepatitis C is a what many refer to as the "silent epidemic". This is due to the fact that many who has it will not feel any symptoms unless they already have a severely damaged liver. This happens in about 15 to 20 years from the time the hepatitis C virus is acquired. The hepatitis C virus, also called HCV, may be acquired only via a blood to blood transfer. Today, about 200 million individuals are infected of the virus all over the world. The sad truth is that of these 200 million, 85% are set to become chronic hepatitis C and among these, about 20% will turn into liver cancer and cirrhosis.
Though some doctors claim that this disease can be cured, no strong evidence can really point to that fact. There may be instances wherein the virus is taken out from the blood through the use of viral medicines but the HCV can very well stay in the organ and the probability of recurrence is quite elevated. Though proper lifestyle can prolong the sufferer's healthy life, it will be very hard for any patient to live a normal life knowing that they have the hepatitis C virus in their body. More so with the stigma that comes with the disease.
Since HCV is acquired through transfer of contaminated blood, those who are exposed are commonly the drug addicts that share needle sticks, among others. Likewise, though there is really no strong proof that sexual contact can transfer the virus, many such claims are already taken to be truths. Another baseless claim, i.e., bodily fluids may also transfer the HCV to other people, led to a stigma that hepatitis C victims had to suffer on top of the debilitating disease that they already have. All these have led many people to think instantly that if a person has hepatitis C, he is either a drug addict and he is promiscuous. The belief that HCV is transferred through the use of the things held or used by a sufferer made them afraid to be associated with them.
Hepatitis C is contagious but it is not easily transmitted. It is only transferred through the contact with infected blood. That only, nothing else. Unless there are any strong scientific evidence to prove otherwise, there is no reason why people should treat hepatitis C victims like lepers. Despite this fact however, there is a responsibility both on the part of the sufferer as well as the people around him to use extreme precaution and ensure the safe containment of the disease.
Hepatitis C may not have a proper cure at present but the future is far from bleak. Things are being done to remedy the situation. People should however play the sacred role of trying to control the virus as much as possible. The best way to do this is to have yourself tested with hepatitis C virus today. Symptoms are seldom felt and those who managed to discover their HCV virus did so accidentally, e.g., routing checks, blood donations, blood tests for other illnesses, etc. There is no need to wait for the cure to be discovered. Contain the virus now and start living a life just like any normal human.