What do I do?
If this is an emergency, please call 000 right now.
How do I protect myself from hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is a preventable disease with a safe, effective vaccination available. Adults need three injections over 6 months. All three injections give you the best chance of developing an immunity (protection) from hepatitis B.
It is a good idea to have a blood test four weeks after your last injection to make sure that the vaccine has worked. Once you are immune you cannot get hepatitis B.
A combination hepatitis A and B vaccination is available and recommended for those at risk of exposure to both diseases.
Costs vary from location to location, talk to your doctor or health care provider about how much the vaccinations will cost.
What happens if I share injecting equipment?
Hepatitis C is transmitted by blood-to-blood contact. The most common way hepatitis C is transmitted is through injecting drug use. The hepatitis C virus can be found in tiny amounts of blood and just because you can’t see blood on equipment or on fingers, it doesn’t mean it is safe.
Always use a sterile needle and syringe every time. Don’t share any equipment even when preparing and injecting drugs. This includes needles, fits, spoons, swabs, water, filters and tourniquets.
Clean sterile injecting equipment is available at Needle and Syringe Programs (NSPs). The Pharmacy Guild of Queensland has a new FREE app that allows you to search for public and pharmacy NSPs across Queensland. It also contains useful information about safe injecting practices, blood borne viruses and overdose.
How do I know if I have hep C
If you have ever injected drugs, been in prison or had a tattoo, you should get tested for hepatitis C.
Even if you experimented with injecting drugs many years or decades ago, you could have hepatitis C and not know it.
Testing for hepatitis C is two easy blood tests. The first one is the antibody test that tells you if you have ever come into contact with hepatitis C. If the antibody test is negative, that means you have never been infected with hepatitis C.
The second test is a PCR test which means that you currently have hepatitis C. If your results come back and you have hepatitis C, then the good news is there is a cure for hepatitis C.
I have hep C, how can I get treatment?
There is a cure for hepatitis C and it has a 95% success rate.
Treatment it is usually one tablet a day for 12 weeks. Your doctor is able to prescribe this treatment and you can fill your script at any pharmacy.
Even if you are currently injecting drugs you are still able to access this treatment.
The Kombi Clinic is a mobile hepatitis C that is taking the cure to the people. This one-stop shop for hep C testing and treatment, currently visits various locations across Brisbane’s Southside. Check out the Kombi Clinic Facebook page for locations and dates or contact our Infoline on 1800 437 222.
Check out HEPnav for pharmacy locations and doctors.