Jubail, Saudi Arabia
Diagnosed With Hep C in 2007
In October 2007, my employer required a lab test for new job. That is how and when I found out I had hepatitis C. I remember the call, when they told me, “We have to do the test again.” I had a feeling deep inside telling me that something was wrong.
The next day, I went to the hospital for the test result. I was shocked to learn that I was infected with hepatitis C. The first thing I said was, “So I can’t marry?” After that, I went to the doctor, who said, “Don’t worry. Your viral load is very low. There is no need for treatment.”
I had regular follow-up appointments, and then the doctor noticed that my liver enzymes were increasing, along with my viral load. I had a liver biopsy. Though there was nothing to worry about, I began treatment anyway. Fortunately, Harvoni had been recently approved in my country. I started the 12-week course on May 2016, and the virus was undetectable within a month. During the treatment and still now, I feel really good. So many things changed inside my body, giving me a hint that I was cured. Lab tests confirmed it 24 months after I stopped treatment.
What three adjectives best describe you?
Traveler, challenger and motivator.
What is your greatest achievement?
Being cured of hepatitis C.
What is your greatest regret?
Not starting treatment earlier.
What keeps you up at night?
Harvoni—but not anymore!
If you could change one thing about living with viral hepatitis, what would it be?
What is the best advice you ever received?
Speak, speak and speak about your infection; not your guilt.
What person in the viral hepatitis community do you most admire?
What drives you to do what you do?
Helping others who have hepatitis C to be free of it as soon as possible.
What is your motto?
Go for it. No matter how it ends, the experience is worth it.
If you had to evacuate your house immediately, what is the one thing you would grab on the way out?
My diary, with the notes I wrote during my treatment.
If you could be any animal, what would you be? And why?
A wolf. Wolves do the most important things in silence, using their senses to read their environment. I read body language and make my fateful decisions in silence.