How many people in Australia have hep C?

It is estimated that 182,000 people in Australia were living with hep C at the end of 2017 [i]. That is enough people to fill the Melbourne Cricket Ground twice over. Many people with hep C have little or no symptoms; however hep C can damage the liver slowly and silently and years later cause cirrhosis, liver cancer, or liver failure [ii]. That is why it is important to find out if you have hep C.

Should I get tested for hep C?

Please answer the following questions truthfully. If you answer YES to one or more of the questions, then you should ask your Doctor for a hep C test.

Work History

Has your work ever put you in contact with blood, blood products, or needles?  
For example:

  • Health Care – doctors, nurses, dentists, dental workers, hospital cleaning services.

  • Emergency Services – police officers, firefighters, paramedics

Medical History

Have you experienced one or more of the following?

  • Blood transfusion prior to 1990

  • Received blood products prior to 1990

  • Had a medical or dental procedure done overseas

  • Unexplained chronic fatigue/tiredness


Does one or more of the following apply to you?

  • Had a tattoo

  • Had a body piercing

  • Shared a razor, toothbrush, nail clippers, scissors or
    any item that could carry blood

  • Inhaled/snorted cocaine or other drugs

  • Shared injecting equipment (even once)

Last review: September 2019



i. Kirby Institute. HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmissible infections in Australia: annual surveillance report 2018. Sydney: Kirby Institute, UNSW Sydney; 2018.

ii. World Health Organization Hepatitis C factsheet. Updated July 2017. Accessed 25 October 2017.