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REPORT: Majority of people with hepatitis C experience stigma

11 May 2018

Alarming findings from a recent survey conducted by the Centre for Social Research in Health at UNSW show that among people with experience living with hepatitis C, 56% had experienced stigma. Among these, 65% self-reported being treated negatively by health workers.

There is an urgent need to kick-start the conversation about the illness and stop stigma. 

Today, Hepatitis Victoria releases the third instalment in its Stigma Stories video series featuring a prominent HEPSpeaker, Stephen King. The short video takes a departure from the ‘stop hand’ theme and utilises some live-action imagery of Stephen venturing around the neighbourhood of Brunswick. 

“I’ve come to realise that health is health,” says Stephen.

Stephen reflects on his feelings of being discriminated against and his feats in overcoming these adversities. Stephen has lived with a number chronic health conditions throughout his life, including hepatitis C for many years. He is now cured.

Stephen says that most of his experiences of feelings stigmatised and discriminated have come through interactions with health professionals. 

“I tend to think it’s more a fear of the unknown. That they’re going to be hurt or attacked or that they might catch something.” 

Stephen has been a HEPSpeaker with Hepatitis Victoria for many years, where he has shared his personal experience at public forums and events.

“In the general community, what can be done better is to be informed, it needs to be normalised. How we do that? It needs to be through people like myself to speak out and show that I do contribute and have contributed, and that I am worthy.”

The Centre for Social Research in Health at UNSW is seeking people who have had or are currently living with hepatitis C to take part in a 15-minute online survey about experiences of hepatitis C, including treatment, community, wellbeing, stigma and discrimination. 

Further Information

Take the hep C stigma survey

 

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