In 2019 our research team began work on an innovative project produce an innovative new website presenting carefully researched personal stories of hepatitis C, treatment and cure – VitalvoicesonhepC.org. The website has two aims. First, it aims to support people living with hepatitis C in thinking about and/or having treatment. Second, it aims to inform the public about hepatitis C and what can be done about it. Overall, it seeks to push discussion of blood-borne viruses beyond a primary focus on the statistics and emphasise that health issues such as hepatitis C are experienced by many people in Australia and around the world, and that those people have complex lives, stories and experiences. What is hepatitis C? How does it feel to be diagnosed with it? What is it like to have treatment and be cured? VitalvoicesonhepC.org showcases the lives of people affected by hepatitis C, emphasising their significance, complexity and vitality.
Drawing on in-depth qualitative interviews, the website presents detailed accounts of living with hepatitis C, having treatment and being cured. Also presented are key themes found in the interviews:
- Being diagnosed with hepatitis C;
- Dealing with stigma and discrimination;
- Perspectives on the new hepatitis C treatment;
And much more. These themes are presented using video re-enactments, original audio recordings and written extracts from the interviews. Planned and designed with the help of a national advisory panel, VitalvoicesonhepC.org aims to inform public discussions of hepatitis C, to counter stigmatising misconceptions, and to promote understanding of living with the virus and its treatment.