Obstacles to Having the New Hepatitis C Treatment
NOTE: Quotes are presented word for word apart from minor editing for readability and clarity. Identifying details have been removed. Square brackets show text that has been added or, where ellipses (three dots) appear, show that text has been removed. For example, ‘I had the nurses explaining to me, like, how easy it was […to have] treatment and I went to the [hospital liver clinic] and there was a doctor … can’t think of her last name, really nice lady […] Yeah, she explained everything to me and said it was a good time for me to do it now and, yeah, [I] just stuck with her and got that done.’
Until the recent introduction of the new direct-acting antiviral (DAA) hepatitis C treatment, the only available therapies were extremely lengthy, had weak success rates and came with significant side effects (see also, Reflecting on experiences of treatment and cure).
While the new treatment is widely considered straightforward and easy to follow and complete (see also, Perspectives on the new hepatitis C treatment), some issues continue to restrict its use. The project on which this website was based collected many positive views on the new treatment, but some participants also describe problems with getting the treatment. These issues range from limited awareness and knowledge of the new treatment, to the impact of other health concerns on treatment, and broader social problems connected to criminalisation and stigma (see also, Dealing with stigma and discrimination).
The experiences covered in this section make it clear that while the new treatment is effective and simple to take, getting treatment is not always easy. Read on for details about different concerns raised in the interviews.