For Jake (name changed for privacy reasons), managing hepatitis C and taking care of his liver health has been a long journey, but every step has been worthwhile. Jake has mild haemophilia. He first found out he had hepatitis C as a young boy in the 1980s when the children’s hospital called him in for testing. At the time he was more worried that he might have HIV, as that was a big concern for people with haemophilia. This is his story as told to Haemophilia Foundation Australia.
For most people who live with haemophilia and were exposed to hepatitis C through their treatment products, before proper testing was introduced, the diagnosis experience was more than 30 years ago. If they were diagnosed as a child, it might have been their parents who received the test results and they might not have been certain whether they still had hepatitis C until they were older.
Hepatitis C was one of the unintended consequences of haemophilia treatment before blood products could be tested for the virus. Since the introduction of new highly effective drugs for hepatitis C in 2016, most people with haemophilia in Australia have been cured of the infection.
Gavin Finkelstein is the president of Haemophilia Foundation Australia. He has lived with haemophilia for his whole life, and with hepatitis C since childhood. For World Hepatitis Day, Gavin was kind enough to tell us his story of living both conditions and how he was cured of hepatitis C.