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Happy hepatitis!

28/07/2015

Today is World Hepatitis Day. It makes me feel kinda special to have a whole day set aside for diseased fuckers like me, though I got a twinge of guilt taking my pills just now. Those little greeblies in my bloodstream were probably all done up in their partying best, ready to march through my liver in the grand parade when *FOOSH*. Chemical warfare attack! The dead and dying twitching amidst the ruins of banners, balloons and streamers. Dismembered RNA body parts scattered around my capillaries. That ringing in my ears probably isn’t a side-effect of the drugs after all. It’s the screaming and weeping of millions of microscopic mourners.

I was considering doing something special to mark the day but I can’t think what. I know you’re supposed to dye your hair green for St Patrick’s Day (Why did he have green hair anyway? St Pat the Punk?) but dying my eyeballs yellow for Hep Day turned out to be harder than I’d expected. Maybe I should grab random strangers in the street shouting “Happy Hepatitis!” and give them a big sloppy kiss instead. The question turned out to be largely moot. The medication I’ve been taking kept me in bed or on the toilet for most of the day so I pretty much missed it. But hey, how better to get into the spirit of World Hepatitis Day than feeling really ill?

What if these pills actually work? Next July 28 I’ll have nothing to cheer about anymore. The genocide of the 10-12 billion liver munching bugs in my system will be complete. I’ll no longer be a member in good standing (or laying down dying) of the hepatitis C community. If the new generation of anti-hep drugs live up to the promises of their marketers future World Hepatitis Days may be rather forlorn affairs, with only a few die-hard alternative medicine devotees still dying hard of liver failure.

But on reflection, hepatitis C hasn’t really got much to worry about. Yeah, the medical community has largely turned its back on it. These days they’re hardly infecting any new patients at all with their contaminated blood transfusions and improperly sterilised instruments. Except for dentists of course. Even loyal carriers of over 30 years like myself are abandoning the disease. But the eye-watering cost of the new drugs means poor people the world over will still have something to celebrate on July 28. And the Australian justice system will continue to give the virus its full support for the foreseeable future.

You see, our guardians of public safety and decency regularly grab injecting drug users on minor possession charges and toss them into prison for a month or so to learn how to be upstanding, law-abiding citizens from murderers, rapists and screws. Even if you’re on a methadone program it’ll probably take longer than your sentence to get the paperwork sorted out so you can receive it in jail. So what you do is buy the expensive, adulterated prison heroin so thoughtfully smuggled in by guards. Of course you end up deep in debt, so upon release you have to increase your productivity at sex work, break and enter or mugging unless you want the people who supplied the screws to come and visit with a big smile and a ball hammer.

What happens when you get your fix? Prisons, which have the biggest concentrations of junkies outside an anaesthetists’ convention, are also the only places in Australia you can’t access clean needles and syringes. So you pay a modest fee to share the worn, pitted pick that’s been passed around the twenty or thirty people in your wing for the past few months. Most of its prior users will have hepatitis C. If you get really lucky, some will have HIV as well.

Instead of subsidising the new drugs that can cure hepatitis C, our governments spend millions keeping people locked up in what might as well be purpose designed hepatitis incubators. Upon release ex-prisoners will return to their families and communities to share their experiences and anything else they may have picked up behind bars.

So I can confidently predict a long and happy future for blood-borne infections and many more World Hepatitis Days to come.

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11 Comments
  1. For Fox Sake permalink

    Well, how about that: World Hepatitis Day coincides with Ólavsøka !!

    It never bloody ends, eh? The exploitation, appropriation and subsumption of
    perfectly healthy indigenous christianized-pagan folk traditions as an excuse
    to flog microbes.

    Be afraid, be very afraid – Norwegians are having fun this day!

    Like

    • Surely by now every day of the year must be devoted to raising awareness of multiple afflictions. Right now it’s probably Prolapse Month, Rabies Week and International Bum Pimple Day.

      Still, it was gratifying to see everyone celebrating how ill I am. The local butcher even had festively coloured blowies crawling over his meat.

      Like

  2. The local butcher even had festively coloured blowies crawling over his meat.

    Live blowies at the butchers? someone hasn’t read the instructions on ritual rightly:: they’re supposed to be dead. *sigh* Just so hard to get good help in this stinking country.

    This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one, the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap, the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”

    George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

    Like

  3. I wonder if I can put an image in here

    Like

  4. Yes!! Now, I’m cooking with gas….

    Like

    • I may have had some explosive bowel movements lately but my house doesn’t look like that yet.

      If you cook cats with gas don’t bother inviting me for dinner. They need to be soaked in a strong marinate for at least twelve hours and barbequed over a naked wood or charcoal flame. One of the reasons there’s so many of them is because the furry fuckers are almost inedible.

      BTW, you know the more pix you put on my blog pages the harder it will be for those with slow connections to load them, right?

      Like

      • Then delete the pix; your blog-your rules. You can also delete all the
        rhubarb in the misogyny test comments. I don’t mind.

        Like

        • My blog rules are I’m lazy.
          And I’ve got broadband now.
          If you wanna choke your own bandwidth, go right ahead.

          Like

  5. Lisa permalink

    Oh bum, I’m two days late. I’ve turned up on International Day of Friendship.

    Like

    • I’m relieved there’s a day dedicated to increasing awareness of friendship.

      It’s been estimated that over 90% of people will suffer from this debilitating condition at some point in their lives. Although mental health professionals can prescribe treatments that help control the symptoms of friendship, with only a few relatively manageable side-effects, very few sufferers seek help. It’s believed that friendship damages the brain and causes anosognosia, making the patient unable to recognise she is mentally ill.

      Although not yet proven, there is a body of research linking friendship with love – a devastating illness associated with violence, STIs, depression and suicide.

      Like

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