Claire first heard about the inequality in access to Hepatitis C treatments when Hazel connected with Seed the Change | He Kākano Hāpai in early 2018. Learning more about HCV, the impact it can have on people’s lives, and the inequity in access to treatment has led her to become a passionate supporter of the Hep C elimination campaign.
HCV is nearly invisible in the public eye due to lack of champions. This is clearly seen in the statistics, for example HCV infections outnumber HIV 2:1, yet hep C treatment currently only receives 100th of the funding globally. Inspired by the Hep C Action Aotearoa team’s personal journeys, and willingness to confront the stigma, Claire is keen to raise awareness and normalise discussion about the virus and reduce stigma. Speaking to GPs at their annual conference she gained an insight into how much work needs to be done to design the patient journey into the elimination campaign, from publicity on the streets through to the consultations with doctors.
Hep C Action Aotearoa’s ambition is to eliminate hep C from Aotearoa by 2025, five years ahead of the WHO target. Claire supports the campaign with responses to Pharmac consultations, lots of funding applications (come fund us and help us slay the dragon!), and general hustling to support the campaign and the team.