Hepatitis C treatment in prison
First, how do I check if I have hep C? There are two blood tests to check for hep C. 1. Antibody test – shows if you have or have ever had hep C in the past (25% of people clear hep C naturally, but everyone will still have antibodies). If you get a positive antibody test, you need to have a PCR test. 2. PCR test (hep C virus test) – shows if the virus is still in your blood, and if you still have hep C. Can people in prison get hep C treatment? Yes! People in prison can get treatment. Most centres like to start and finish the treatment while you are inside. Put in a request form to Medical.
If you are due for release you may have to wait to start treatment until you are in the community. You can call Hepatitis Queensland on the Arunta system #12 to find out who is treating for hepatitis C close to where you will be living.
How do I get treatment in prison? • Put in a form to Medical asking for hepatitis C testing and treatment. • Be patient, there are waiting lists. • If you have advanced liver disease or cirrhosis you may need to visit the hospital liver clinic, but you can still get the new treatments.
What is the treatment? How long does it take? There are two different treatments that are used, Maviret and Epclusa. You will need to take tablets everyday for 8 – 12 weeks. It is important to take all the tablets. What are my chance getting cured from these new medications? The new medications have a 95% cure rate – you won’t have hep C anymore! Are there any bad side effects? Will it affect my mental health? No, most people will not have any side effects. If they do, they may have a headache or an upset stomach. The new medications will not affect your mental health.