Looking for more specific information about hep C? You’ve come to the right place.
Did you know that hep C is now easily cured? The new cures mean you can live hep C free – speak to your doctor about starting treatment now.
If you haven’t been cured yet, hep C can still impact on your life in many different ways, including:
- discrimination and stigma,
- disclosure (telling others),
- worries about passing hep C onto others,
- pregnancy and sex,
- and if left unchecked or without treatment, hep C can cause serious health issues, including liver damage.
So read on, to learn more about how hep C may affect you and what to expect on your journey to becoming hep C free.
You may have been at risk of Hep C in the past
Many people living in Australia may have been at risk of hep C without knowing it. Listed below are the groups or communities that might be most at risk of hep C.
- People who have injected drugs or steroids.
- People who have ever been in prison.
- People who had blood transfusions, blood products or an organ transplant in Australia before Feb 1990.
- People who have a tattoo or body piercing.
- People who were born in countries where hep C is common.
- Men who have sex with men.
- Anyone born to a mother who was hep C positive during pregnancy.
- People who have had a needle-stick injury.
- Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders.
- People who have experienced homelessness.
If you identify with any of the groups above, you should think about asking your doctor or health nurse for a hep C test. Listed below are the most common ways people can contract hep C:
- Sharing or reusing other people’s needles or syringes (fits) or other injecting equipment.
- Backyard or unregistered tattooing with potentially unsafe equipment.
- Backyard or unregistered body piercings with potentially unsafe equipment.
- Blood transfusions before 1990.
Unprotected sex, where blood might have been around.
How will hep C affect your day-to-day life?
If you are yet to be cured, living with hep C can affect your life in many ways. Some of those ways may be physical, some emotional and some practical. We offer services that can help support you – take a look at our Key Services page for more info.
If you or your partner are pregnant or are thinking of having a baby, read our pregnancy and babies page.
Do I need to tell anyone I have hep C?
Except for a few special situations, you don’t legally have to tell anyone that you are living with hep C.
Who you tell is absolutely up to you. You might feel better if you talk about it with a trusted friend or relative, but you don’t ever have to tell them.
Hep C disclosure in the workplace
The only 2 work situations that require you to tell your employer that you have hep C is:
- If you are a health worker who performs exposure prone procedures.
- If you are in the Australian Defence Force.
You can find out more detail here.
Hep C discrimination and stigma
Discrimination against you, because you are living with hep C, is never ok. If you are experiencing hep C related discrimination, phone the Hepatitis Infoline to speak to someone who can offer support and help you work out what to do next.
Reducing overdose risk
Overdose Lifesavers provides support to people at risk of opioid overdose and thinking about using take-home naloxone. It also informs us all about overdose and what can be done about it. Overall, it looks beyond statistics and recognises that behind each overdose death was a human life that had its own story and connections to people who remain.
Find out more about hep C and you
If you’re part of any of the communities we’ve listed above, or have recently found out you have hep C, you may want to speak to someone about how you’re feeling. Phone the Hepatitis Infoline to ask any questions that you might have about hep C. The Hepatitis Infoline offers confidential info, support and referrals.
This page last updated 16 May 2019