Lack of information, unawareness, and the infectious nature of Hepatitis C have, sadly contributed to the stigma associated with it, effecting jobs and relationships. The unfounded fear of hepatitis C spreading through physical contact or shared glasses leads to people having the disease being shunned and made to feel ashamed. Hepatitis C is also linked to drug abuse.
Ignorance and general apathy to drug users adds to the stigma. Though there are several ways in which one can be infected with the hepatitis C virus, the common assumption is that one who has hepatitis C must be injecting drugs.
The stigma associated with hepatitis C not only damages self esteem, but also causes depression, impairs mental health, reduces social support and at times, access to health care. Stigma: Hepatitis C and Drug Abuse by Astone-Twerell, Strauss, and Munoz-Plaza describes the damage which may be caused by this shunning or isolation from main stream society .