I can tell you second-hand (watching my husband), that it is a debilitating disease when it hits, and the treatment is not much better. I watched him practically crawl to the bathroom because he was too tired, achy, and sick to walk. I wrapped him in blankets when the cold sweats kept him awake all night. I watched as the brain fog worsened and he got frustrated trying to remember simple tasks.
However that was just what happened in private. In public, people thought he was lazy because all he wanted to do was lay down. People didn’t believe there was anything wrong because he didn’t look sick. They shied away. People who claimed to be friends stopped calling and they never came to visit. No one wanted to be infected. Everyone was afraid.
It is time to get the word out. People with Hep C are ill. It is not an illness you can catch with casual contact. It is not an illness you can catch if they sneeze or cough. It is not an illness you catch from using the same toilet. It is an illness that is transmitted primarily through blood to blood contact.
So unless you are sharing needles, receiving infected blood, or having a knock down drag out bloody battle where blood mixes, you are not going to contract Hepatitis C.
If you know someone who has Hep C call them. Ask how they are doing, ask how they are feeling. Lend a shoulder, lend an ear, lend a hand. They need to know they are not alone.
It’s time we all started talking about this.