I am a Hep Hero because: I don’t consider myself that much of a hero, but I would like to share my experiences with others so that they may benefit from treatment the way that I have.
I’d like to encourage people to try the new treatment, which is apparently much easier to tolerate than the Interferon that I had to take. It also has a higher success rate.
I have been cured of hepatitis C by participation in the Interferon Combination therapy program at the Austin Hospital, Liver Clinic in Heidelberg. I have also had hepatitis B twice and self-cleared.
I am 58. I am a semi-retired artist. At the moment I am working on a theatre project to raise awareness about lung cancer. I have struggled with drugs including alcohol for many years. This is how I got hepatitis I think, by sharing needles.
I am now clear of all these diseases and no longer take drugs of any sort apart from copious amounts of coffee. I am a father of two boys and am so grateful to be free from the threat of liver cancer.
My whole life from around 25-52 years of age was dominated by a background infection from hepatitis of one sort or another.
I cleared hep B twice by careful attention to my health and some good luck I suppose only to find out in my mid 30s that I was a carrier of hep C.
I was in denial big time for many years. I found that being infected with Hep C really depressing.
I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety around the same time, though I now believe that I suffered from these from a far earlier time. I was over the moon when I found out that Interferon treatment had worked for me.
I was also involved in the support group at Hep Vic some time ago so I’d like to be involved again to help others undergo treatment, and to help them deal with the stigma surrounding this debilitating illness.
With the new initiative of the federal government, and the new drugs available, it is important to get people to sign up to these new treatments and to get cured from hep C.
Peter’s message to others:
“Treatment is worthwhile and by refusing treatment, while an option, is unnecessarily putting yourself at greater risk of health and psychological complications in the future.
Even though the treatment may require you to focus on your health during the taking of the drugs, it will free you from the fear and stigma associated with being a carrier of this illness, and allow you to hopefully live a long and fulfilling life, which may otherwise be denied you if you gamble with not having treatment.”