Stories of Stigma and Discrimination

Below are the quotes from people who have experienced or witnessed hepatitis related stigma and discrimination. 

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I was at the GP clinic to get my test results as I had requested a Hep C blood test. The test was antibody positive. The GP had shock on his face, he put on some gloves to check my high blood pressure. He wrote on my notes in red “Hep C positive”. I explained to him that I had had treatment and my PCR will be negative to confirm. He wouldn’t listen. He did the PCR and it came negative but he wouldn’t hear of it that I was cured. With my PCR negative result, he continued to write warnings in red, “hep C positive” wherever I was going for testing. It could be checking my glucose level, vitamin—there was warning that I was hep C positive . He would always use gloves to touch my skin. He refused to remove his warning in his notes. The lab refused to remove the statement saying even if your PCR is negative, we follow the doctor’s instructions and have no power to remove it.
— Angela from QLD
It was at [dental clinic] when I was doing some forms and the receptionist read I had hep C she asked me if I could wait away from other patients I just laughed and said something about she should get herself educated about diseases that she is dealing with often.
— Cameron
When I presented at a doctor’s surgery (not 1st time there), I asked for a tetanus injection because I had trod on a rusty nail. The doctor filled a syringe and placed it on the desk in front of me and walked across the room and stood there. I asked him ‘do you expect me to inject this myself?’ and he replied ‘well I don’t want what you have’ (there was obviously an alert sticker denoting a hep C infection on my notes). I was disgusted with this doctor so I jabbed the needle into my arm and left the surgery.
— John from South Australia
Son-in-law refuses to let the grand children stay at our home. He believes all people with hep C are/were filthy drug users and they deserve what they get. He does not believe that hep C is only transmitted through infected blood entering another’s blood stream - he thinks you can be infected through casual contact. However, to be fair he is not very bright - he also believes you can turn people ‘gay” and that all gays are pedophiles.
— Jean from S.A.