Category: Hep C


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Got a question about hepatitis or liver health? Check our FAQs

In most situations, you do not have to share information about your hepatitis status, but there are four exceptions:

  • Healthcare workers engaging in ‘invasive or exposure prone procedures’. This means surgery or other procedures that may require a nurse, surgeon or other healthcare provider to work inside the body of another person.
  • If donating blood or blood products (such as plasma), semen, ova, or organs.
  • If seeking employment in the Australian Defence Force, you are required to declare your health status in relation to any disease, illness or injury.
  • Applying for insurance or superannuation.

Find about more about telling someone you have hepatitis.

Yes. Being cured of hepatitis C won’t protect you from getting hepatitis C again.

To prevent reinfection take steps to avoid blood-to-blood contact. For example, use
sterile injecting and tattooing equipment every time.

If you know others that may have hepatitis C consider getting tested or treated together.

As a general guide, get tested for hepatitis C every 12 months if you have regular exposure to activities that put you at risk of hepatitis C.

Find out more about hepatitis C.

Treatment to cure hepatitis C is available from your doctor or health clinic. If your liver has been badly damaged you may be referred to a specialist doctor or liver clinic for care.

Most people can be cured of hepatitis C by taking tablets daily for 8 to 12 weeks.

Hep C treatments:

  • Give you at least a 95% chance of being cured
  • Have little to no side effects
  • Are just pills (no injections)
  • Are covered by Medicare, so are very low cost

You can talk to your local doctor (GP), Aboriginal Medical Service or sexual health clinic about getting
tested and treated for hepatitis C. You can also search our health directory to find local hepatitis C services.

Find out more about hepatitis C.

You will need a blood test or fingerstick test (also known as a point-of-care test) to check if you have the hepatitis C virus.

Your doctor (GP) or health clinic can give you a referral for a hepatitis C blood test. Some sexual health clinics, alcohol and other drug services (AODS), and needle and syringe programs (NSPs) offer on-site testing.

Find out more about hepatitis C.

As many as 80% of people who have hepatitis C will have no symptoms. Even if you feel well it is important to get a hepatitis C test if you think you have come into contact with hepatitis C positive blood.

If you do experience symptoms, these may include:

  • Tiredness
  • General aches & pains
  • Loss of appetite
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
  • Nausea
  • Brain fog or confusion.

Find out more about hepatitis C.

To get hepatitis C, the blood of a hepatitis C positive person must enter your bloodstream (blood-to-blood contact).

You may have come into contact with hepatitis C if you have ever:

  • Shared injecting drug equipment (including needles, syringes, tourniquets, water, filters or spoons), or been injected by someone else
  • Had a backyard/prison tattoo or piercing
  • Had a needle stick injury
  • Received a blood transfusion overseas or in Australia before 1990
  • Had an overseas dental or medical procedure.

Find out more about hepatitis C.

Hepatitis C (or hep C) is a virus that causes inflammation and damage to your liver. If left untreated, hepatitis C can cause long term liver disease, cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) and liver cancer.

Hepatitis C is spread through blood-to-blood contact, most commonly through sharing injecting equipment, unsterile tattooing/piercing or overseas medical procedures.

While there is no vaccine for hepatitis C, there are simple, effective treatments that can clear the virus for most people.

Read more: About hepatitis C

Yes hepatitis C can be cured! There are very successful treatments available for hepatitis C. Most people can be cured of hepatitis C by taking tablets daily for 8 to 12 weeks.

Hepatitis C treatments:

  • give you a 95% chance of being cured
  • have little to no side effects
  • are just tablets (no injections)
  • are low cost

Find out more by speaking to your doctor or contact Hepatitis Queensland

Transmission of hepatitis B via sexual contact can be easily prevented by vaccination or use of barrier type contraception (e.g.condoms). Transmission of hepatitis C via sexual contact is unusual, however the likelihood increases if there is coinfection with HIV.

Hepatitis B:

There is a 95% chance that a mother with chronic hepatitis B will pass it on to her baby if no steps are taken by the medical staff to prevent transmission. 

More info: Hepatitis B and pregnancy

Hepatitis C:

Women with hepatitis C have a very low risk of passing hep C on to their baby before or during birth. About 95% of babies born to hep C positive mothers WILL NOT get hep C.

More info: Hep C my baby and me

What is hepatitis?

The word “hepatitis” means inflammation (swelling and pain) of the liver. Hepatitis can be caused by viruses (viral hepatitis), alcohol, drugs and other toxins.

Viral hepatitis is a common cause of liver inflammation, and there are 5 types: A, B, C, D, and E. While all these viruses affect the liver, they are spread in different ways and have different treatments.

Read more about hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

This website may contain the names and images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have passed on.