If you’ve been diagnosed with hepatitis C, you may be looking for ways to get more information or support. Many resources are available to help you learn about the condition. You can also access services to get the medical, financial, or emotional support that you need.
Read on to learn about four types of resources that can help you through the treatment and recovery process.
To get the best treatment possible, it’s a good idea to visit a healthcare professional who has expertise and experience treating hepatitis C.
Several types of doctors treat hepatitis C, including:
- hepatologists, who specialize in liver disease
- gastroenterologists, who focus on diseases that affect the digestive system
- infectious disease specialists, who focus infectious diseases, such as hepatitis C
You may also visit a nurse practitioner who focuses on diagnosing and treating liver disease.
To learn which type of specialist is best suited to your needs, speak with your primary care doctor. They can help you understand the differences between each type of specialist. They may also refer you to a specialist in your area.
To find a gastroenterology or infectious disease specialist near you, you can also use the American Medical Association’s DoctorFinder.
Learning about hepatitis C can help you understand your treatment options and long-term outlook.
To learn more about the disease, consider asking your doctor or community health center for more information. Many government agencies and non-profit organizations also provide helpful, easy-to-read information online.
For example, consider exploring the following resources:
- Hepatitis C Information Center, from the American Liver Foundation
- Hepatitis C, from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Hepatitis C Questions and Answers for the Public, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Hepatitis C, from the World Health Organization
It can be expensive to get treatment for hepatitis C. If you’re finding it challenging to manage the costs of your care, your doctor or other healthcare provider might be able to:
- connect you to a financial assistance program
- adjust your treatment plan to help lower the costs of your care
- set up a payment plan to help you pay off your bills
Several non-profit organizations, charities, and drug makers run financial assistance programs. These options help uninsured and underinsured people get the care they need.
To learn about some of the financial assistance programs for hepatitis C, download a copy of the American Liver Foundation’s Financial Assistance Resources. The organization offers a free discount card for medications. You can also look at an overview of programs that may help with treatment costs.
Living with chronic illness can be stressful. To help manage the emotional and social effects it can have on you, it may help to connect with other people who’ve lived with hepatitis C.
To connect in person:
- ask your doctor or community health clinic if they know about any local support groups for people with hepatitis C
- request support group information from the non-profit organization HCV Advocate
- check the Support Groups section of the American Liver Foundation’s website
To connect with them by phone or online, consider:
- calling Help-4-Hep’s peer helpline at 1-877‑HELP‑4‑HEP (1-877‑435‑7443)
- participating in the American Liver Foundation’s online support community
- searching social media platforms for patient groups and campaigns
If you’re experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression on a regular basis, let your doctor know. They can discuss treatment options with you. They may also refer you to a mental health specialist who can help you manage those symptoms.
Many resources are available to help people with hepatitis C manage the condition. To learn about support resources in your area, talk to your doctor, contact your community health center, or get in touch with a local or national patient organization. They can help you connect with an array of different services for your needs.