What is hepatitis C?
The term “hepatitis” means inflammation of the liver. This inflammation can be caused by chemicals, drugs, excessive alcohol or viruses. Hepatitis C, or simply “hepatitis C”, is caused by a virus called hepatitis C.
Hepatitis C and hepatitis A, hepatitis B is one thing?
Hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C are liver inflammation caused by different viruses. Each virus spreads in different ways. For hepatitis A and hepatitis B, it can be controlled by vaccination, but hepatitis C cannot. One person may suffer at the same time. Different types of hepatitis.
In Australia and the rest of the world, about one in every 100 people have hepatitis C, and many of them do not know that they already have hepatitis C, because a series of symptoms of hepatitis C may be lurking for many years.
How do people get infected with hepatitis C virus?
Hepatitis C virus spreads through the blood of a carrier of hepatitis C virus and enters the blood of another person. This is called blood and blood contact. Even tiny blood that is invisible to the naked eye can spread the virus. There are still many mysteries about the route of transmission of hepatitis C, so it is important to remember the following points:
You may be infected with hepatitis C by:
High risk route:
- Unsterilised medical/dental treatments and unsanitary traditional punctures are the main routes of hepatitis C infection in many countries. In Australia, blood supply, vaccination and medical procedures are safe.
- Reuse others for drugs, even steroid syringes. This is a very common form of transmission of hepatitis C in Australia.
- Unsterilised tattoos or other forms of body piercing.
Low risk route:
- The medical person was stabbed by a needle.
- Mothers with hepatitis C transmit mother-to-child during pregnancy or at birth.
- Infusion of blood products prior to 1990 in Australia.
- Reuse personal items with blood on others, such as razors and toothbrushes.
- Blood contact during sexual activity.
- Drug injection needles that are discarded in public places are stabbed.
Hepatitis C can occur around the world. There is danger in Australia, and there are dangers in your country of birth and in other countries.
You can’t get hepatitis C virus by:
- Shared bathroom.
- Use common cutlery and teacups.
- Cough, sneeze, kiss or hug.
- Public swimming pool.
- Bites of mosquitoes or other insects
How is hepatitis C developed?
In 100 patients with hepatitis C;
- A quarter of people can identify their own viruses in the first year;
- The remaining three-quarters of patients will live with the virus and have no obvious symptoms;
- If no treatment is given, 30 of them will have obvious symptoms after ten to fifteen years;
- Twenty years later, about ten people will have severe liver disease, and five of them will have liver failure or liver cancer.
Many patients with hepatitis C generally have no symptoms. If symptoms are present, the most common manifestations are fatigue (weakness), nausea and abdominal pain.
Hepatitis C check
If you have the following experience, you should consider doing a hepatitis C check:
- You have done infusions, vaccinations or other medical procedures for blood products in other countries without ensuring that these procedures are sanitized.
- You have had traditional puncture therapies, tattoos, and ears without ensuring that these procedures are sanitized.
- You have used drug injections, or have a syringe with others, or have helped others inject drugs (including steroids).
- You have been in prison, have been injected with drugs, including steroids, or have a syringe with others, have had a tattoo or sashimi experience, have shared a shaving eyebrow knife or toothbrush with others.
- You can’t confirm whether the tattoo or sashimi equipment has been sanitized.
- An infusion of blood products was done in Australia before February 1990.
The only way to know if you have hepatitis C is by blood tests. You can ask your doctor to do this test. You can also ask your doctor about hepatitis C and other related tests.
You can also seek translation, they will respect your privacy.
You can also seek translation, they will respect your privacy.
Some sexual health clinics provide free and confidential hepatitis C testing. There is no need to show a Medicare Card for visiting a sexual health clinic.
Hepatitis C and personal health
If you already have hepatitis C, it is very important to do regular check-ups and try to stay healthy.
The Hepatitis C Council in your state or territory will provide you with information and help on hepatitis C.
Hepatitis C treatment
There are new ways to treat hepatitis C. Good curative effect, easy to take, and few side effects.
The new treatment not only achieves a 90-95% cure for hepatitis C, but the treatment time is much shorter than before.
The prescription for hepatitis C can be prescribed by family doctors (GPs) and specialists, which makes it easier to get treatment.
The new treatments are called direct antiviral drugs or DAAs (Direct-Acting Antivirals) for oral tablets. In some cases, other drugs such as Ribavirin and Pegylated Interferon are also included. Pegylated interferon is administered by injection.
The treatment lasts for 8 to 24 weeks and is recommended for all patients with hepatitis C.
Community hepatitis C prevention
Worldwide, the spread of hepatitis C virus is prevented by:
- Comprehensive testing of donated blood.
- Provide hygienic syringes for harm reduction education for people who use drugs.
- Medical and traditional medical measures for sanitation.
- Sanitary disinfection tattoo and sashimi measures.
In Australia and around the world, the Needle and Syringe Program (NSP) can help reduce the harm caused by the use of drug injections.
Evidence shows that the Needle and Syringe Program (NSP) has successfully suppressed the spread of hepatitis C in Australia, thereby reducing the impact on individuals, families and communities caused by hepatitis C disease, saving the community hundreds of millions of dollars.*
Hepatitis C may bring many taboos and misunderstandings. This makes patients feel ashamed and isolated, so support and understanding for our families, friends and communities can make life easier for patients with hepatitis C.
For hepatitis C patients, the biggest question is who to talk to. If someone tells you that he has hepatitis C, you should not tell anyone about this fact without your consent. Trust will bring more stress and pain to others.
In Australia, it is illegal to discriminate against patients with hepatitis C. This includes employment. If you have hepatitis C, you do not need to tell anyone unless you are insured or donated blood.
Medical staff cannot pass your personal information to others without your permission.
Your state or territory, the Hepatitis C Association, will provide you with confidential information about your condition, discrimination and employment.