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Avatar universal

Social Stigma and Hep C

   I want everybody to try to be honest with themselves, with this one:  when you find out a person has Hep C, which one of these type of thoughts first comes to mind:
92 Responses
Avatar universal
when my boyfriend told me he had it, I knew he was never into IV drug use, I have known him since he was very young, early 20's, he told me he may have gotten it from snorting coke in his younger more foolish days, or possibly from vaccines in the army back in the late 70's, that one made the most sense to me. the more I learn about it and see where he is at with liver damage, I am pretty sure that the army is probably the most likely suspect.  But I have to admit, my old friends that I know did drugs back in the day, I do feel compelled to tell them to get tested.
317787 tn?1473358451
Hi Bo, I voted however people outside of this forum would probably vote differently, i.e. the person must have done drugs would probably be the first thought.  It is not fair and it really doesn't matter how they got it but I have found people to be very judgmental.  I think it makes them feel better as if they could never get it as they are not at risk.  
What really gets to me is when someone asks me how I got it, as if they have every right to ask.
I do not think people ask that of cancer patients
Just my two cents :)  I hope you get what you are looking for
Tried to vote, but it wouldn't let me. I would vote #4.
Avatar universal
Never wasted any time thinking about what people look like in relation to their illnesses.
1986676 tn?1329862471
I've recently had a doctor say to me "I bet when you found out you had
Hep c you wondered how you got it"

Actually, that was not my first thought.

1797925 tn?1341096204
stigma :  A mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person...

The only "stigma" that should be associated with HCV is Gilead Sciences failure to move forward with drug trials that can cure 100% of Gt1s... that is surely  a "mark of disgrace"!!!!

Warmest regards,

1747881 tn?1546175878
I doesn't really matter how someone got it gets my vote
Avatar universal
  I agree with you Dee, that people who are judgemental may be feeling scared, or insecure, concerning how they feel about them-selves.
   I was glad to see that the CDC has gotten the figure out: 1 in 33 Baby-Boomers has Hep C.  
   I also dont believe I.V. drug abusers, currently using, or who have recovered (I never bought that "recovering" word somehow...I think a person either has cravings to use, or doesn't) should be stigmatized.
  I work with people who are Dual Diganosis, which means they suffer from mental illness, and drug addiction.   The fact that I am non-judgemental with them, makes them feel comfortable about talking about the fact that they use I.V. drugs, and they know that they can trust me.
     The main line I use, with my children as well, when something that they feel is embarrassing, or shameful has occured with them is, "It could happen to anybody"~
Sometimes, somebody could have used an I.V. drug once or twice, as in the case of I.V. cocaine, and they may not have gotten the physical addiction part of it, but it was enough to be infected.  W/cocaine, as least with the powder, it's really more of a mental/psychological component than a physical one. I admit, I did use drugs in my teens and twenty's, but never had any of the physical addiction part of it. Never had any withdrawal issues, etc. Never did the meth or heroin type of thing. But, did use the I.V. coke and that was enough to do it.  Then, after that part (the drugs) was history, my new 'drug' was alcohol. Fortunately, I realized I was getting to the point where it was starting to be to often and too many 'overdoing it' times and I stopped it.  I was still drinking occasionally, but didn't keep it in the house any longer. Then, I was diagnosed with the HEP and I stopped drinking forever and that's been 20 yrs now.  
Avatar universal
Bo I don't really know what to say about this poll.  Honestly I really don't like the answers to your poll.  I mean what does a drug addict look like?  I've know many addicts who look like the guy next door and go to work everyday.  And I've know many people who don't do drugs or alcohol and look like sh^&!  And what does a person who receives a transfusion look like?  All I can say is that you never know who you are talking to so it's best to be non-judgemental.

Have a great day!
Avatar universal
"you would not worry so much of what people think of you if you relized how seldom people think of you"
Unknow author
Avatar universal
I appreciate you looking up on google the definiton of "stigma" .however I prefer this one  :)

"small spot, mark, scar, or a minute hole; -- applied especially to a spot on the outer surface of a Graafian follicle, and to spots of intercellular substance in scaly epithelium, or to minute holes in such spots."


Avatar universal
Like Will I never wasted time thinking about this.
2059648 tn?1439766665
I agree with your answer to this issue.
317787 tn?1473358451
Sorry I did not notice answer regarding about how some one looks.  I guess I had a brain spasm.  And here I thought I was doing so much better :)
Avatar universal
To be honest I never really thought about it, besides whats a drug addict look like?

Could someone please tell me what those silly "tags" mean? I never had understood the reason for those.
1797925 tn?1341096204
That definition doesn't do me any good because I can't figure out how to apply it to Gilead...LOL!  hmmm...unless "scaly???  Best to you, Willbb!
766573 tn?1365166466
I guess I have had Hepatitis C for too long for any of these things to run through my mind although in the beginning they surely must have. Don't get me wrong though since I can be nosy nonetheless! In fact part of the reason I blew off my group is because there were many first timers there and I personally found these kind of curiosities more characteristic of them. That sounds snotty and I honestly do not mean it that way. I just couldn't connect with them. This was my own experience so I hope I do not step any toes here.

Anywho, first of all, not that this has happened very many times but when I meet someone in real life who has Hepatitis C it's as if we have some kind of an instant bond no matter what our apparent differences. I usually want to know if they treated before and how many times and if they are SVR are what. I have noticed that even folks who are SVR for years and years still keep up with developments in the HCV arena.

Actually I have found the same thing when I meet someone who has a friend or relative who treated for the virus.

766573 tn?1365166466
Also, just based on how the title of this post is phrased I do not think those who actually have the virus are the ones who perpetrate social stigma. I am just saying . . . .
Of course it is not the people who have it that perpetrate it. Stigma is a social construction so it has to be through interaction of people that stigma arises.
Avatar universal
To be honest I never really thought about it, besides whats a drug addict look like?

I think it was "fretboard" who said here a couple of years ago ..
..."it was the people you see that have the one shoelace untied and they also have "a secret handshake"
766573 tn?1365166466
Not all addicts are IV drug users
Avatar universal
My brother and his ex-wife were herion addicts runnin on the streets back in the 70's.  they always looked impecible.  they were con artists who could out con anyone. they told me they had to look dressed to a T, how else were you going to make money on the streets?
446474 tn?1446347682
My first thought? None of the above addiction obsessed "answers".
Answer: Have you tried treatment?

"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves".

Avatar universal
I have only been DX'ed for about 8 years.  I bought the line about it was my semi wild youth in the mid 70's, but why were none of the people I hung with infected? Hmmmmmmmm?

I saw a lab test from 20 years ago while cleaning the attic. My LFT's were in the middle teens while I was an average alcohol user, back in '91.  I rather believe that after 15 years or so of alleged infection while occasionally drinking my LFT's would have been higher.  Contrast it to another insurance medical checkup 10 years later and I was not drinking at all and my LFT's had tripled.

The difference was 10 years and 2 surgeries.  It is entirely possible that I got my infection from a medical setting, but I have wondered about dental or cosmetology college cheap hair cuts.

I just can't think of any even remotely possible vector; sexual, military, tattoo etc.  

We may assume the worst and it may not be correct.


1669790 tn?1333662595
The poll's answers focus on one main issue - "They look like a drug addict" since this is included in the first three responses.  

How someone caught HCV is not my concern, nor should it be anyone elses concern how I aquired it.   I agree with Jules' response and also can not respond to the poll for the same reasons.  
179856 tn?1333547362
I think it's a very silly thing to worry about.  I had every possible way I could have gotten it except for a tattoo and well...I guess it depends who I know and how I know them for them to think they know how I got it when I certainly do not.

It just doesn't matter, I'm so over it I dont care who knows.
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