Hep Check Clinics in May

Join Goondir Health Services, Carbal  Medical Services and Hepatitis Queensland for a series of community Hep Check events.

Hep C Testing
Have you ever been tested for hep C or put yourself at risk? Get a quick fingerstick hep C test and liver scan.

Art Workshop
Nicky Guivarra shares her experience of living with hep C through art and story.

Free activities, snacks and giveaways!

What is hep C?

Hep C is a virus that can make your liver sick.

It can cause inflammation and damage to your liver, and if left unchecked it can cause chronic liver disease and liver cancer.

Hepatitis C is more common among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with rates up to 5 times higher than non-Indigenous Australians.

The good news is hep C can be cured. Testing and treatment are simple.

Find out more below:

  • How do you get hep C?
  • Getting tested
  • Getting treated
  • Looking after your liver
  • Find a clinic

How do you get hep C?

Hep C is spread through blood-to-blood contact.

High risk

  • Sharing needles or injecting equipment
  • Being injected by someone else
  • Having a tattoo or piercing done by a friend
  • Traditional practices or ceremonies

Low risk

  • Unprotected sex
  • Breast feeding with cracked or bleeding nipples
  • Mums with hep C can pass it on to their bubs at birth
  • Sharing toothbrushes, razors or clippers
  • Needle stick injuries

No risk

  • Sharing food, or eating food made by someone with hepatitis
  • Hugging, kissing or shaking hands
  • Using clean injecting equipment
  • Competing in contact sports

Getting tested

The only way to know if you have hep C is to get a test.

You can have a:

  • Blood test, or
  • Finger stick test.

A finger stick test is a quick and simple test that takes a small amount of blood from your finger and gives you a result in one hour.

A test for hep C isn’t always included in your yearly health check. If you think you might have put yourself at risk, talk to your doctor or health worker about getting tested.

Getting treated

Treatment for hep C is simple.

  • 95% chance of being cured
  • Tablets (no injections) for 8 to 12 weeks
  • Little no side effects
  • Covered by Medicare and Closing the Gap
  • If you get hep C again, you can do treatment again.

All doctors can prescribe treatment for hep C. You can access treatment at some Alcohol and Drug Services, Sexual Health Clinics, as well as Aboriginal Medical Services.

Looking after your liver

Even after we treat and cure hep C it is important to look after your liver health. Liver cancer rates are significantly higher in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. More than double the amount of First Nations people are diagnosed with liver cancer compared to non-Indigenous Australians.

You can look after your liver by:

  • Getting tested if you’re at risk of hep C
  • Eat healthy food
  • Reduce or cut out alcohol
  • Reduce smoking
  • Aim for 30 minutes of exercise every day

Find a clinic

Aboriginal Medical Services across Queensland can provide hepatitis C testing and treatment. The following websites will help you to find your nearest clinic:

You can also access hepatitis B testing and vaccinations at other health services such as your GP or sexual health clinic.

About the Artwork

“Healing Hepatitis”
Art by Nikita – New Dreaming Art

This artwork tells the story of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Liaison who has shared their story and knowledge of hepatitis C with the team at Hepatitis Queensland. From here, the Hepatitis Queensland team are working to educate and inform Mob across Queensland about hepatitis C.

There are several critical factors to consider when raising awareness about hepatitis C, a significant health issue for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities. The health workers who visit or work within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities and Health Services must be trained and educated on how to communicate appropriately with Mob. Education about the importance of health checks for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who live in Communities can lead to greater life expectancy and better health outcomes for the future.

Read more about the different elements used in this artwork

Hep Check Circle

Want to get involved?

If you’re interested in finding out more or being part of the Hep Check Connect Cure project, contact Lana on 1800 437 222 or lana@hepqld.asn.au.

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