Australia: Senator Ian Macdonald on mission to remove hepatitis C stigma

EXCLUSIVE: Conservative Queensland Senator Ian Macdonald and his nephew are on a mission to tackle the stigma around hepatitis C and help improve access to life-saving treatments.

Senator Macdonald’s nephew Ian Pengelly, 44, was born with a form of haemophilia and contracted the potentially-deadly hepatitis C virus as a young teenager from the unscreened blood-clotting factor he was given as a part of his treatment during the 1980s.

This week, with the support of his uncle, Mr Pengelly is speaking publicly about his battle with the disease for the first time, and will detail his journey in a new book to be launched by Hepatitis Australia in Parliament House on Tuesday.

Around 230,000 Australians are believed to be living with chronic hepatitis C, a blood-borne virus which affects the liver and kills around 600 people each year.


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