Personal Experience with HCV Diagnoses
I contracted HCV the very same way many women contract it... from sharing equipment with a trusted partner. I naively believed that he would disclose to me (out of respect and care) if he were HIV or HCV positive. Silly me! He was Hep C positive, he knew it, and he didn't tell me about it.
What an asshole right?
Yes and No. If there were not such a severe stigma associated with HCV and hence with disclosing, maybe he wouldn't have been so scared to tell me. Is fear of stigma and judgment a good enough excuse? Not in my books, but it happens - a lot.
He, himself contracted HCV from injecting and sharing needles in prison. If sterile equipment had been available to him and to others in his shoes maybe there wouldn't have been anything for him to disclose to me in the first place!
We had a friend over one day who disclosed that he had contracted HCV in prison. My partner blurted out that he also had Hep C, contracted while in prison. This is how I found out in our 4th year together that he had Hep C, and why I suspected that I likely did too. I had never shared injection equipment with anyone else at that time and was careful about protection in non-long term relationships.
I was diagnosed with HCV about 10-12 years ago. I have done little else by way of monitoring and/or treating it since then. I have however recently initiated the process for HCV genotype testing and will be writing about my experiences including the subsequent process of treatment if it is deemed necessary. I will be participating in a program run by a community health centre in Toronto. I chose this particular program because it offers a somewhat holistic approach to treatment. What I mean by "somewhat" holistic is that the treatment is based pretty heavily on the medical model (for obvious reasons, but hardly supportive of holistic healing). However, it also offers individual and group counselling/support - which makes it slightly more holistic.
My first appointment is later this month. I have already cancelled once and played phone tag with the program nurse for about a month after that. Not sure if this was nerves or simply that other thing which causes me to cancel appointments and avoid people...depression. In either case, I'm committed to attending the next appointment.