Telling family and friends you have hepatitis C can be uncomfortable, but there are ways to make your disclosure go over more smoothly. Here are some tips on how to talk to your loved ones.
Support is important
It can be scary to talk to your friends and family about having hepatitis C, but it’s important to have the support of people close to you. Keeping open relationships with your loved ones is good for your well-being. Approach them from a place of knowledge and care.
Arm yourself with facts
Some people can have a harsh reaction when told about a hepatitis C diagnosis, and it’s usually because they have misconceptions about the disease. But sharing some facts can put people at ease, specifically letting them know the disease progresses very slowly, is manageable and curable with treatment and is difficult to transmit to other people.
Certain people deserve to know
Whether you are comfortable telling everyone about your disease, certain people in your life deserve to know. That includes your family, spouse, sexual partners, and anyone else who could possibly have contracted the virus from you. Even if transmission risk is low, it’s a good idea for them to get tested.
Seek professional support
If you are newly diagnosed, you might not be able to provide the emotional and informational support necessary for your loved ones. It can be an uncomfortable and upsetting admission, so involving professional or peer support when disclosing your hepatitis C may be a better option.
Planning when, where and how you disclose that you have hepatitis C can make the experience better for everyone involved. Think about what you will say and how you will respond if you receive a negative reaction.