Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is a virus that is found in the blood and attacks the liver.

How would I get it?

  • Spread through unprotected sex when blood is present with a Hep C positive partner
  • Sharing of drug or steroid use equipment (needles, snorting, inhaling, or injecting paraphernalia), or unprofessional tattooing and occasionally shared items such as toothbrushes or razors with an infected partner.
  • It may also be passed from an infected mother to infant during birth

What kind of symptoms could I have if I am infected?

  • Not everyone will have symptoms when they are first infected
  • Some people may experience fatigue, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, jaundice (yellowing of the whites of the eyes and skin), dark urine, low-grade fever and loss of appetite

How do I prevent this?

  • Condoms
  • Using clean drug equipment
  • Avoid sharing personal hygiene items

Unfortunately, there is NO VACCINE to prevent Hepatitis C.

How do I get tested?

  • Blood test; expect results to come back in 1-2 weeks – you may require an additional test to confirm if initial if positive

What if I test positive?

  • Hep C is treatable with antiviral medications
  • We will arrange a referral to a specialist for you for further testing, treatment and monitoring
  • Hep C is a reportable infection – meaning someone from Public Health may contact you for further information and you are required to notify sexual partners and members of your house. Should you prefer to remain anonymous, Public Health can assist by notifying any or all partners. 

How do I know it’s gone?

  • New treatments have a high cure rate of over 90%
  • Some people may actually clear the virus on their own and require no treatment

Learn more here