Hepatitis C is a virus that causes inflammation of the liver. Although people infected with hepatitis C may not feel any symptoms initially, it is a serious disease that can lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer and other medical conditions. Infected people can pass on the virus even when they are symptom-free.
Hepatitis C is spread through direct blood-to-blood contact with someone who has the virus.
The risk increases with certain activities:
- having a tattoo or piercing, now or in the past, with equipment that was shared or not sterilized properly
- sharing needles or equipment for injecting drugs; this includes ties and cookers
- sharing supplies for inhaling (smoking) or snorting drugs
- shared toothbrushes or razors with someone
- getting a blood transfusion or blood products before 1992
There is a very low risk of getting hep c through unprotected sex.
Detailed information on hepatitis C basics is available on Hepatitis C Basics.
World Hepatitis Day
To recognize World Hepatitis Day, the Health Unit works with community partners on Hep Net to offer a week of information and testing events to raise public awareness of hepatitis C prevention, testing and treatment.
Provincially, hepatitis C infection rates have been decreasing; however, local rates have stayed stable so this awareness raising has never been more important.
Hepatitis C Testing
The TBDHU provides testing for those who believe they may have come in contact with the virus. Please contact the TBDHU Sexual Health Clinic for more information.
For More Information
Call the Sexual Health Clinic: (807) 625-5900
Or toll-free: 1-888-294-6630