“I am a Hep Hero because I want to inspire others to stand up against stigma and live healthier lives.”
I am a social worker, student and performance poet living in Melbourne. I contracted hepatitis C when I was 14 years old through the Alfred hospital. I am a haemophiliac, which is a type of bleeding disorder, and received many blood transfusions as part of treating that condition.
There was very little support or information offered to me about the condition and I lived with hepatitis C virus growing up feeling very isolated and believing I couldn’t touch people. Only after several years of living with hep C did I discover this was incorrect.
Interferon treatment started to be offered to haemophiliac in the early 2000s, and eventually as my liver started to deteriorate I was put on a 6 month course of treatment. Although it was very difficult enduring months of treatment regime with ribavirin, the medicine worked and I was pronounced clear of the virus in early 2006.
Since then I’ve gone on to live a healthy and happy life, and now I want to contribute to helping other people living with hepatitis.
It’s important to breakdown the stigma surrounding hep C because it prevents people from seeking out or attaining treatment, which perpetuates more hepatitis infections rates throughout the community.
I believe that people deserve health care and medical treatment, free from judgement, regardless of social status or lifestyle.