Patients associations & contact between patients
A large number of questions can be answered by Your doctor or nurse in the hospital. They can also provide you with more information. You do not have to face it on your own. You can discuss your problems and complaints with the doctor or nurse. In some instances, you might be referred to another caregiver.
Talking to friends or a social worker can help you. Many people also like to be able to talk to someone in the same situation. The Dutch Liver Patients Association is an interest group for people who are affected by hepatitis C. The association offers information and support to people with liver diseases, their partners, family and friends.
Information and support for people with hepatitis C in conjunction with HIV can be obtained from the HIV Vereniging Nederland (Dutch HIV Association). The Nederlandse Vereniging voor Hemofiliepatienten (Dutch Hemophilia Patients Association) provides specific information about coping with hepatitis C for hemophilia sufferers.
Help from a buddy
If you feel sick and/or lonely, you may appreciate a little extra attention from a buddy. A buddy is a volunteer who, after meeting you in person, pays you a visit every week for a year. A buddy offers a listening ear, is involved and devotes time and attention to the everyday and special things in your life. Together with your buddy, you can also look into the possibilities for expanding and/or strengthening your social network. Many cities, such as for example, The Hague, have a buddy network that you can join.