Hepatitis C (often called hep C) is a virus that affects your liver and is transmitted by blood to blood contact. There are an estimated 200,000 people in Australia living with chronic hepatitis C. You can have hepatitis C and not know it as not everyone gets symptoms. If hepatitis C is not treated it can lead to serious long term illness in some people. A simple blood test can tell if you have been exposed to hepatitis C. Treatment is available through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and it is important that you discuss treatment with your GP.

Assess you risk of hepatitis C.

Hugging, kissing, touching a person living with hep C
Sneezing or airborne
Mosquitoes or other insects
Toilets
Sharing food, drinks, cutlery etc with a person living with hep C
Sexual activity without blood to blood contact
Breastfeeding
Mother to baby
Accidental needle stick injury in health care settings
Sharing household items with a person living with hep C, including:

  • Razors
  • Toothbrushes
  • Nail clippers

Blood transfusions in Australia before 1990

Sharing Injecting Equipment including:

  • Needles and syringes
  • Spoons
  • Tourniquets
  • Water vials
  • Filters

Injecting & being injected by others

Unsterile tattoos and body piercings including:

  • Shared tattooing and piercing equipment
  • Shared ink

Sharing of snorting equipment

Unsterile medical procedures and blood transfusions in some countries

Blood to blood contact while in prison

For more information ask your pharmacist, GP or ring the Hep C Help Line 1300 437 222 (1300 Hep ABC)