Florida resident bikes to promote awareness of hepatitis C
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Mark Nowatka, a resident of Lakeland, Florida, will be undertaking a bicycle journey to Gainesville in the hope of promoting hepatitis C awareness. Nowatka also means for his two-day ride, which will span a distance of nearly 150 miles, to serve as a celebration of his recovery from the disease, according to NewsChief.
Nowatka claimed he was shocked and thrown for a loop when he learned he was positive for hepatitis C. The news provider reported that he struggled with the news, not only due to its extreme danger but out of shame, stemming from the disease's reputation as a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or one predominantly affecting intravenous drug users.
There is no cure or vaccine against hepatitis C, and the extant treatment methods are quite costly. Nowatka was able to take part in a clinical trial paid for by a pharmaceutical company, but he could not work and would have lost everything without help from friends who got him back on his feet.
He told the news source, "I'm one of the lucky ones. I'm really just doing so well from this. Other people are still, after two years, suffering from symptoms."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 3.2 million people are chronically infected with hepatitis C in the United States.
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