People with hepatitis C are likely to experience psychological distress related to adjustment issues following diagnosis. Objective: The study was conducted to determine the psycho-social stressors accompanying Hepatitis C virus (HCV) chronic infection. The study focused on immediate and later on reactions to being diagnosed as infected HCV patients. Effect of HCV on disruption of patients’ relationships in term of family relationship and friendship, employment and financial status was assessed. The magnitude and causes of the social stigma and its relation to awareness about illness, level of education were also assessed. Methods: During this study the subjective experiences of people having HCV was explored through a designed questionnaire targeted 540 cases; 359 males and 181 females from ten out of 21 National Treatment Reference Centers of National Hepatology and Tropical Medicine Research Institutes of Ministry of Health (MOH) hospitals. The study was conducted along a period of six months from September 2011 to March 2012. Results: The study revealed that the financial problems are the commonest problems faced by 75.5% of the cases. More than 70% of the cases suffered from immediate sadness versus 67.4% suffered from worry. Social stigma was reported by 13 % of HCV +patients, the majority of which were females. Conclusions: Exploring the psychosocial consequences of HCV infection can act as pressing motivators for behavior change needed for limiting HCV endemicity in Egypt.
Hepatitis C virus infection is a public health threat in Egypt. To control infection, efforts should be spent to encourage healthy behavior. This study aimed to assess the level of behavioral development in order to create a positive environment for the adoption of the recommended behaviors. The study was conducted over one year from Jan. 2011 till Jan. 2012.Knowledge, attitude and behavior of 540 HCV patients and 102 of their contacts were assessed and the level of behavioral development was determined. The study revealed that the majority of patients and contacts knew that HCV infection is dangerous with perceived concern for early diagnosis and treatment. More than 75% knew the correct modes of transmission. The assessment showed positive attitudes towards the recommended practices with intention to adopt those practices. Strategies of creating opportunities to continue the recommended behaviors should be adopted together with the reinforcement of social support.