This paper discusses the psychosocial impact of being diagnosed with hepatitis C virus (HCV). The paper clarifies some of the key misconceptions about the virus, especially the impact HCV has on people who have been recently diagnosed. An individual's reaction to the HCV diagnosis and the subsequent lifestyle challenges to maintain health, well-being, family, and social networks are discussed, particularly the issues surrounding mental health in respect to a recent chronic illness diagnosis and how to manage the trajectory of the illness in the community and individually. HCV disclosure and its effect on intimacy are also detailed. For people living with both a diagnosed mental illness and HCV, managing the illness can be complicated. Not only are these individuals concerned about their mental illness, its treatment, and the social stigma and discrimination associated with it, they also may be alarmed over their future physical health. The paper is preliminary to research using the psychotherapeutic approach of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) in groups of persons with a dual diagnosis of mental illness and HCV.
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