Today is World Hepatitis Day. This is a day when we come together globally to share the message of Hep can’t wait!, encouraging us to be proactive and act on viral hepatitis.
Hepatitis C remains an important issue for our community. There are several ways we can take action – ourselves, in our community and among our family and friends.
HEP C AND BLEEDING DISORDERS
In Australia many people with bleeding disorders acquired hepatitis C from blood products such as clotting factor treatment products or blood transfusions before 1993. Several safety measures were introduced by 1993 and the risk of bloodborne viruses from plasma-derived clotting factor products in Australia is now considered to be extremely low. But many people in our community live on with the consequences of those early infections.
Hep C treatments are now a once-daily tablet, with few if any side-effects and very high cure rates. Many Australians with bleeding disorders and hepatitis C have now had treatment and been cured – but some might not even know they have hep C.
WHO IS AT RISK?
For some women and people with mild bleeding disorders, who perhaps only had one or two treatments in their lifetime, it has been a surprise to find out they have hepatitis C.
But if you ever had a blood product before 1993, including blood transfusions and plasma-derived clotting factor concentrates, you could be at risk of hepatitis C.
You may have been wondering about testing and not got around to it yet. But now is the time to talk to your doctor about a hep C test – and have treatment to be cured, if you do have hep C!
Watch our video about testing and share it with others.
WERE YOU CURED?
Has your liver recovered from hep C?
If you don’t know the answer to that question, don’t wait to find out. Take the time to contact your hepatitis doctor or your GP and check your liver test results. You may need ongoing checks with a liver specialist.
If you had cirrhosis or extensive scarring before being treated and cured of hep C, you will still need to have a liver ultrasound scan every 6 months long-term.
Community members Jake and John have generously shared their personal stories of clearing hep C and the importance of liver health checks.
- Find out your hep C status if you don't know
- Hep C can be cured. Treatment is simple
- If you have been cured, ask your doctor if you need ongoing liver health monitoring.
What else can you do?
Consider starting a conversation about it, if you think this may be relevant to someone you know among your family and friends.
And share this information with others!
FIND OUT MORE
- HFA World Hepatitis Day page
- Australian World Hepatitis Day website
- International World Hepatitis Day website