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.
Has your work ever put you in contact with blood, blood products, or needles?
Health Care – doctors, nurses, dentists, dental workers, hospital cleaning services.
Emergency Services – police officers, firefighters, paramedics
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. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs164/en/ Accessed 25 October 2017.