So. Here I am, 26 years old, in general good health and with a relatively decent social life, up at 12:37 AM starting a blog about Hepatitis C. I never imagined that I would be doing such a thing, but lo and behold, it has happened. I’ve never been one for blogging, and I don’t even read blogs much…but I do know that the first thing I did when I found out was turn to the web, to learn from others who have beaten down the dirt on this road before me. Thank god for the internet at times like these. I just hope that if there is anyone out there in the position I was in–stunned, scared, and with a shaken sense of identity–that I can help a bit.

Tomorrow I go see an Infectious Disease Specialist. Not the type of doctor a person ever wants to go see/admit seeing. For me, though, it is something I’ve been working towards for ten months now, something I’m actually looking forward to, because it means we can get this treatment show on the road. For you, my yet to materialize audience, I plan on writing about the process of diagnosis; seeking treatment; and, the step I am at presently on this journey, starting and experiencing treatment. I’ll give you a blow-by-blow of it all. I might even pretty the site up a bit. Right now it is late and I’m tired, so I’ll have to backtrack for you tomorrow, but there are a few things I want you to know:

Hepatitis C is not a death sentence. This disease moves very slowly; it kills only a small percentage of people who have it, and new treatments are available right now, with more in the works.

Hepatitis C is difficult to transmit. To infect another person, blood to blood contact must occur. This means that they cannot get this from eating after you (unless maybe you have a bloody sore in your mouth, use your fork, and then proceed to stab the other person with the fork. I don’t recommend doing this).

Try not to worry too much about your loved ones. This was one of my main concerns, if not THE main concern, when I first tested positive. My hepatologist told me that in all his years of providing treatment, he had never seen the sexual transmission of the disease occur from one partner to the next.  That doesn’t mean it never happens; just that it is rare. Also, transmission from a mother to a child is only around five percent. If you had blood transfusions prior to 1992 (like me) you may have contracted hep c that way. IV drug use is probably the most common way people get HCV. Fact of the matter is, it doesn’t matter how you got it. No one deserves it.

You’ll need to tell someone eventually, but that doesn’t have to happen right away. Take some time to collect your thoughts and get informed. A great resource is http://www.hcvsupport.org. Go there, and soon!

Don’t worry, my adoring public. I’ll be back tomorrow with fun facts on what you need to do when you find out you are diagnosed. And I’ll let you know what the new doc says. Nite!

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