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For almost two decades, I lived in a body that terrified me. That’s finally beginning to change.

A photo of an exhausted black women with her hands on her temples.
A photo of an exhausted black women with her hands on her temples.
Photo: fizkes/Getty Images

When I was 20 years old, I found out that my blood was poisonous. I remember opening up an official-looking letter informing me that the cord blood I had donated after giving birth to my son tested positive for hepatitis C. I was told to talk to my doctor for more information.

I would learn from my doctor and from countless books and web searches that I had a disease that attacked the liver. It was passed through blood — needles, unsanitary tattoos, childbirth, and blood transfusions (how I had contracted it). I learned that I would likely feel fine for many years, and then, after a while, my liver could start to break down. …

About

Ijeoma Oluo

Come for the feminist rants..stay for the selfies and kid quotes. Inclusive feminism here.

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