Hepatitis C is a highly infectious virus carried in the blood that can make a person seriously ill. It can cause scarring of the liver and liver cancer. In some cases, it can result in death. For the majority of people, hepatitis C is a life-long condition if not treated – but treatment is available.
If you have done any of the following, you may be at risk of contracting hepatitis C:
- Shared needles or other drug equipment (spoons, tourniquets, filters).
- Spent time in prison.
- Had a piercing or tattoo done in an unsterile environment.
- Shared razors or toothbrushes with someone you know has hepatitis C.
Blood tests will show whether you have been exposed to the hepatitis C virus. If positive, follow-up tests will be required.
If you have hepatitis C, you may need to start treatment. The good news is there is a new treatment which is easy to take, side effects are rare, and 98% of people can be cured in 8-12 weeks with just one tablet a day. Most people begin to feel better within days of starting treatment.
Have a chat with your GP about getting free of hepatitis C.
Find your local Aboriginal Medical Service at www.iuih.org.au/clinics.