Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is highly prevalent in the United States, yet is largely culturally invisible. This study examines what people know about their illness, both before and after diagnosis, and the relationship to race. The data are from in-depth interviews in 2004 with 53 persons, mostly white or African American, with HCV in the southeastern United States. The respondents have varying educational backgrounds, family incomes, and possible modes of transmission of HCV. Regardless of whether the diagnosis of HCV came as a surprise, respondents had a range of reactions including fear, shock, sadness, and ambivalence. Knowledge of the disease postdiagnosis varies as some people have expert knowledge, moderate knowledge, or inaccurate to no knowledge of the disease. Minority respondents have less knowledge of HCV than whites. This racial disparity in knowledge has profound implications for people with HCV and the larger society.
Suarez, A. (2010), "Racial disparities in knowledge of hepatitis C virus (HCV)", Jacobs Kronenfeld, J. (Ed.) The Impact of Demographics on Health and Health Care: Race, Ethnicity and Other Social Factors (Research in the Sociology of Health Care, Vol. 28), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 21-45. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0275-4959(2010)0000028004
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