What Misconceptions Do People Have About Hepatitis C?
Hep C is very treatable, but not everyone knows that. There's still a stigma surrounding this virus.
Lanla Conteh, M.D., clinical associate professor of hepatology and gastroenterology at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, in Columbus, OH, says patients often don't know what hep C is and that it's so treatable.
Hep C is really interesting, I think there's a huge lack of public health knowledge on it, and really, when you look at the data, when you say HIV, everybody knows what HIV is, right? Everyone does, because the HIV community has done such a good job getting the message out there about what HIV is. We all know. Hepatitis C, people have no clue what it is. They have no clue what organs are affected or what the impact is.
Finally, when you look at the data for hep C compared to HIV, more people die from hep C each year than from HIV. That's been the case for over 10 years. That's because our public health knowledge of hep C is incredibly lacking. Most young people who come in, they're distressed they have it because of the stigma attached to it, but they don't know anything about the treatment options available. Or really how far it's come.