I’m currently part of two HCV studies. One is through my treating hospital and is looking at resistance associated variants (RAVS) and treatment with the new direct acting antivirals (DAAs). The other is a nurse-led study looking at pathology reports and reported side effects. My Clinical Nurse Consultant (CNC, or Nurse Specialist as they are known in the US) is involved in it.

Why participate in these sorts of studies? What’s in it for me? The answer is, in the short term, probably not much. It’s not like a trial, where you get the good treatment drugs (hopefully!) and they get to study their efficacy.

But in the long term, I know I am helping to build a body of knowledge about specific areas of hepatitis C and its treatments, outcomes and associated issues. What they might learn from me (and many others) could help refine treatments in the future. It might help nurse specialists deliver better-targeted treatment care. It might make a difference.

I feel I have been exceptionally lucky to be able to take part in the compassionate access scheme that has provided me with Viekira Pak and ribavirin (okay, not so lucky about the riba, but you have to take the good with the bad sometimes!). It’s my responsibility to pay this luck forward.

Study me all you like. Perhaps you can find out why I enjoy Gossip Girl and The Wire equally. That’s a matter that deserves some serious investigation!