TABOO around hepatitis C regularly leaves patients isolated and hiding in the shadows.
READY TO TALK: Lynn Ross at the neighbourhood centre in Armidale.
Those infected often suffer in silence, fearing social rejection if friends and family were to find out.
Much of the stigma stems from the virus’s association with intravenous drugs.
Hepatitis Awareness Week starts on Monday and one former sufferer is encouraging people to come forward and start a conversation about the virus.
Lynn Ross was diagnosed with hepatitis C in 2011 and said she struggled alone for two years because she was too scared of what other may have thought of her if they had known.
“I kept quiet about it because of the drug stigma,” she said.
Now virus free, Ms Ross said she has no idea how she contracted the virus. One common misconception about the virus is that you can catch it if you come in contact with an infected person.
For more information about hepatitis, contact the Armidale Neighbourhood Centre located at 129 Rusden Street.
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