Widespread stigma and discrimination still exisits from people who do not understand hepatitis B and other liver conditions. The fact is that only 7% of people living with hepatitis B in Australia are getting treated, while the other 93% of people are hiding. Perhaps because of stigma and discrimination they do not want to tell doctors or others they have hepatitis B.
Sidney appealed a Federal Government decision, based on her hepatitis B status, that would have meant that she and her 12-year-old son Billy had to leave Australia. Her case was widely publicised, including an online petition of over 30,000 signatures supporting her case.
“It’s not fair that people get discriminated against, it wasn’t our choice as we didn’t choose to have this disease – I call it an ailment- it’s not serious if we take care of it, and what we need is more people to take the test”, says Sidney.
To combat liver disease “we need funding for education and research to challenge stigma, change attitudes and change lives”, Sidney says.
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