This day is dedicated to raising awareness about Hepatitis C, a viral infection that affects the liver.
Many people don’t know they are infected with the hepatitis C virus that can cause liver damage and liver cancer over time. The Hepatitis C virus is spread from infected blood that comes in contact with another person’s blood.
A blood test can tell if you are infected with the Hepatitis C virus. Speak to your healthcare provider if you have had a blood transfusion before 1992, if you are a person who injects or inhales drugs or if you have shared drug using equipment, or if you have had a non-sterile tattoo or piercing.
Learn about Hepatitis C so you can prevent being infected!
Hep C prevention strategies:
- Use new equipment when injecting or inhaling drugs. This equipment is available at all the Health Unit Smart Works sites. You can find out more about our services here: http://healthunit.org/health-information/drug-use-harm-reduction/needle-syringe-safer-inhalation/
- Ensure tattoos or piercings are done with sterile equipment. http://healthunit.org/health-information/beauty-body-art/
- Practice safer sex. http://healthunit.org/health-information/sexual-health/sexually-transmitted-infections/
- Avoid sharing personal care items with someone who has hepatitis C that might have infected blood on them, such as razors, nail clippers and toothbrushes
Learn about Hep C so you can be treated!
Newer treatments are now available in Ontario and are much more effective than older hepatitis C drugs. These new medications are also easier to take, have fewer side effects and are taken for a shorter time.
For more information on Hepatitis C, see the Hep C fact sheet on our website: http://healthunit.org/health-information/infectious-diseases/fact-sheets/