Don’t Let Fear Prevent You From living. Paul’s Hep C Story

When Paul Bolter was in his early 30s, he often found himself feeling fatigued. Hep C, a virus not well known back in 2001, was silently attacking his body. Paul is currently the leader of the Hep Free NYC Hep B & C Patient Navigator Network.

Watch the new Video on Paul’s Story:  Living with Hepatitis C. Live Bold, Live Now! 


I was diagnosed in 2001 almost by accident. I had issues with my Primary Care Provider at the time and, decided to get a second opinion as to why I was so tired by mid-afternoon and needed naps after work. I found a new doctor and she was very pro-active; after listening to my past history and other information I provided she decided to get to the root of things. I couldn’t understand why at my age, at the time, I was worn-out. She gave me comfort while waiting for lab and other test results to return.

Back then they mailed out the results of these tests. The day I got the letter in the mail I also got a phone call from my doctor, actually while I was reading the letter. I didn’t have a lot of time to panic or get crazy. After we hung up, having made a follow-up appointment with the best liver specialist in Boston, I thought about what to do next.

The irony was I had been hired as the Hepatitis C Specialist for the City of Boston and was in the process of learning about this virus. Then BAM! I get my diagnosis. I was stunned at first because after being healthy for so long, I immediately thought I was no longer healthy. If not for the nurses I worked with, and my co-workers at the time I’m not sure I would have followed through with treatment.

I started treatment and things got difficult as far as how I handled the side effects. The smartest thing I did at the time was to join a support group and share my experiences with others and a medical provider that was able to answer my many questions. During this time I had issues with disclosing my diagnosis to family and friends. The majority of the people in my life had never heard of Hep C before, neither had I really, but many weren’t able to understand it either. I learned many lessons during this time, and as difficult as it was I stuck things out, many times alone, but remained compliant with my treatment regimen. After 6 months it was determined that I was not responding to the treatment, and discontinued it all together. I went on a few other studies after about 3 months but they didn’t really help much either.

Since the first round of treatment I participated in several studies and other treatment regimens over the years unsuccessfully. Things are great now, almost 12 years later my disease has not progressed, I am in great health, and my career in this field has only flourished. All because I decided not to let stigma, ignorance and fear get in my way. I didn’t let it deter me from my goals or from pursuing a college education.  As a result of never giving up, in early 2010 I made the decision to follow one of my many goals and moved to New York City. I was in good enough health and felt I haven’t yet allowed this virus to interfere with my life so far so why let it now. I took a huge leap of faith. My doctor in Boston gave me the name of one of the best doctors in New York City, so I came armed with the information I needed to engage in good care. Once I did that I went on 2 more rounds of unsuccessful treatment before I found the one that cured me. July 2014 I was cured of Hepatitis C. To be able to say that after 14 years of various treatments, doctor’s appointments, prescriptions, pain, isolation is a beautiful thing.

Just because the multiple treatments didn’t work, didn’t mean the care I got was poor, it just my virus was tough. But not as tough as I was. I beat it before it beat me.

Don’t let fear prevent you from living.


We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you. Thank you.


©2019 HepFree.NYC. All rights reserved. Site by Lookit Design QuikSite®


Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?