It is not right or fair but some people may react negatively or rudely if you tell them you had or have hep C. It’s important to know the difference between who you have to tell (legally) and who you might want to tell. This is why we’ve put together this page, to help you decide who to tell about your hep C.
Do you have to tell people about hep C?
There are only a small number of situations in which the law requires you to tell that you have, or ever had hep C (see ‘When do you need to tell someone about hep C?’ below).
Can you still work if you have or have had hep C?
In most professions there is no legal obligation to tell your employer that you have, or have had hep C. Only under special circumstances will you need to disclose this information – you can read our ‘Hep C in the Workplace’ page for more info.
Who do you have to tell if you have or had hep C?
There are only a few times when you legally have to tell someone if you have hep C:
- people must inform the blood bank in pre-blood donation questionnaires (because you can’t donate blood if you have ever had hep C)
- If a man wants to donate sperm, he must tell the sperm bank.
- if you are a health care worker in NSW who conducts exposure-prone procedures and is PCR positive (phone the Hepatitis Infoline for more information)
- some insurance policies (particularly life insurance) require that you disclose any infections, disabilities, or illnesses that might influence the insurance company’s decision to insure you. Income protection insurance may also fall into this category
- if you are a member of the Australian Defence Force (Navy, Army, Air Force) and you have hep C, you must tell them. You may have to leave the forces if you have hep C, although this is determined on a case-by-case basis
- if you are in competition boxing or martial arts
We’re here to help you make the right decision
Before you tell others it may be useful to talk to the Hepatitis Infoline and have booklets or brochures to give to the other person. This may help overcome any misconceptions they might have about hep C. Phone the Hepatitis Infoline now, or browse our free online hep C resources.
This page last updated 12 Dec 2017