The hardest part about living with hepatitis C
is the stigma. I remember the first time I felt the sting of stigma. It
was after I had first contracted hepatitis C, and although many people
don’t go through a serious acute stage, I was hit with debilitating
symptoms. I was bedridden and needed childcare to help when my daughter
came home from nursery school. The parents of my 17 year-old babysitter
told me that I ought to be ashamed of myself for even thinking of
exposing their daughter, and told me to look for another babysitter.
I was shocked. If I wasn’t a threat to my daughter, I certainly
wasn’t a threat to their daughter. This aspect of having hepatitis C
hurts. You know how to be careful and not put anyone at risk, but fear
and ignorance can cause others to react like hepatitis C will leap out
on to them, which it can’t.