Murray Bridge residents can now access a proven cure for hepatitis C, as part of a national pilot project being trialed in town over the next month.
A new “ground-breaking” treatment has cured numerous patients from a lifetime of symptoms.
In 1990, Lisa Carter was diagnosed with hepatitis C and has lived with the virus ever since.
She battled fatigue, “brain fog” and the fear that her condition could turn fatal for 27 years.
“It wore me down a lot and I was always worried I could end up with liver cancer because hep C can lead to things that can kill you,” she said.
“I also had my daughter to protect from potentially transmitting the virus from my blood to hers.”
“I always kept items like my toothbrush, razors and nail clippers away from her to be cautious.”
Thanks to the new treatment, Lisa has been cured of hepatitis for good.
“I was on the treatment for 12 weeks and now I’m completely cured – it’s incredible,” she said.
Lisa is one of six Hepatitis SA outreach workers who visit regional areas to educate residents about hepatitis C.
“All six of us were directly affected by hep C and we’ve all been cured by this new treatment,” she said.
The new treatment arrived in Murray Bridge on March 1, and Lisa and her team are urging the community to make the most of the opportunity to visit their doctors and get tested.
“Murray Bridge has such an amazing opportunity to be the first place to eliminate hepatitis C all together,” she said.
“One in five who have hep C do not know they have it so it’s so important to get tested, especially now that there is a cure.”
She said there was still a strong stigma around the virus.
“When you have it (hepatitis C), you don’t know who to tell… I’ve had some really bad reactions to it,” she said.
“That’s why our peer support program has been so successful because people know they won’t be judged.”