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Health & Body

I kept thinking of this saying throughout a restless night. It is made clear in my dream that I should be tested for hepatitis C. In my dream I was tested. Doctors with serious faces, nurses with those caps on, and sombre faces are passing by with needles and that index finger raised.

by Wil Groot - 27 February 2019

length: 4 min. Printer Friendly Page  
Think Before You Act, and Think While You Act!

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar
length: 4 minuten

In the background I saw my ex Paul all the time, with a big grin. As if he were laughing at me from the afterlife. Ha-ha, now they got you too.

Hepatitis C has been common in my circle of friends for the last eight years. A presentation in the old COC building on the Rozenstraat clearly comes to mind. A man told us about his depressions because of the medication, and his suicidal tendencies. In the space of six months, five men I knew from the gay scene had committed suicide.

They had two things in common. They were HIV positive and had hepatitis C.

Hepatitis C occurs frequently among gay men who are HIV positive. In men who do not have HIV and do not use condoms, including PrEP users, hepatitis C is also sometimes found. For clarification: when you use PrEP, you cannot get HIV any more. That these pills can have side effects is stated on the package leaflet. But who reads the leaflet? The letters are far too small. That this is not a guarantee you will contract other STDs is incidental and not worth mentioning. That is how people think about it.

Some years ago, my hospital doctor found out that my liver was infected. “This is not looking good, Wil. There may be millions of virus particles there,” he said while gazing at his statistics. “Hmm, quite a lot. I’m finally a millionaire,” I said, grinning. “This is not a laughing matter, Wil.” He had a reprimanding look on his face while looking at me. “Is it Hep C?” “Let’s see how it develops. Come back in a month’s time.” At home, I immediately investigated what kind of detox was best to get my liver clean again. One thing I knew for sure - no more pills for me, because there are more roads that lead to Rome. No meat, sugars, wheat, milk products, alcohol and smoking materials.

Lots of water with lemons. I also called my friend Marijke who is an acupuncturist. According to her, the liver is easy to treat, she says from experience. “You are allowed to eat two types of fatty fish, and take these vitamin pills to replace meat.” A month later my value was 68 and again a month later I was clean. However, I was four pounds heavier. There is still enough food left to enjoy.

Of course I shared my detox experience with my hospital doctor. “Your body did it itself, Wil. That detox is not scientific proof.”

There was no convincing my doctor, and my detox was dismissed.

The history of hepatitis C medication is intense. Insiders told me that two pharmaceutical companies both had a cure with many side effects. The companies refused to work together, even though they could have made a functional cure without side effects working together. A few years ago, medicines were made available with hardly any side effects. However, this does not mean that there are now fewer new hepatitis C infections. Just like other STDs, you can also get reinfected.

A while back I attended a “NoMoreC” presentation. Together with the Amsterdam gay community, they aim to reduce the number of new hepatitis C infections in the capital. The “NoMoreC” initiative comes from AUMC, GGD Amsterdam, and Soa Aids Nederland. The evening was interesting and was very well organized. Often, I fall asleep halfway during these meetings, as these presentations can be quite boring. This was certainly not the case here. They also presented the “NoMoreC Toolbox.”
When packing the Toolbox, the packers found out how hepatitis C is spread. Toys, anal douching rods and everything that goes in your body, should not be shared. If you want to share toys, you should clean them first. People think it is mostly caused by extreme sex, but that is not the case. At times at the meeting, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. At sixty-one I still have things to learn.

I was told that chemical drugs in particular dry out your mucous membranes. As a result, wounds are easier to develop, which makes it easier to become a millionaire. The Toolbox is full of tools, so “C WhatYouCanDo!” There is something in it for everyone. The Toolbox is available free of charge via the “NoMoreC” website: You can also find all the information there.

Strangely enough, in Africa I have never been confronted with hepatitis C. Worldwide, seventy-seven million people have been infected. Usually this is caused by electric shavers, knives, toothbrushes or tattoo needles. But, the Netherlands is too clean for that, I am told. Do be careful in what kind of hole you put it in, and “Think before you act, and think while you act!”

  About the author:
Wil Groot has, after being diagnosed with HIV, completely changed his 'abundant lifestyle', and has been active in the fight against Hiv and Aids in South Africa since.  Earlier this year he published his book 'Droom van een vrijbuiter' (Living A man's dream), where he wrote down his experiences in a country which differs from ours in nearly everything.  For more information on Wil, his work and his book, please check


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