I agree that normalising the virus in the eyes of the public is important and understand that the medical profession uses tough minded cynicism amongst themselves to help them cope with what can be emotionally stressful jobs.
The thing about stigma is that it is not just what you think about the disease.....it is about how others perceive it and as a result view and treat you and how their behaviour makes you feel. If you and your loved ones are strong and resilient and don't care too much about what other people think and you live somewhere that has and abides by antidiscrimination laws then you may be able to participate in life and your community in a reasonably normal manner. But I also fully understand and support those who choose not to expose themselves and their loved ones to the risks that the stigma presents.
I made the decision to start telling most people my story last November. Of interest, four of the people I told then disclosed they either have, had or are close to someone with HCV. These are all people I have known well, some closely, for many years which shows just how pervasive the stigma is. I can also vouch for Cheese's comment about "HOW DID YOU GET THAT" this being my experience with about 90% of the people I have told. Another thing that came to light was that due to my closeness to the issue I assumed others had similar knowledge to me but I became aware of the appalling lack of knowledge that most people have of this disease, its symptoms, transmission and prognosis. No wonder there is much fear out there, the stigma prevents people talking about the issue and the resulting ignorance drives the stigma.
There were a number of reasons I decided to reveal my status to others, as well as the personal ones and spreading the word about generic DAAs as an available and affordable means of ridding the world of this pandemic, I feel now that for me it is important to help in some small way to educate people and hopefully lift the veils that stigma has created about HCV.