The word “hepatitis” means liver inflammation, there are a number of hepatitis viruses including A, B and C. They differ in the way they are transmitted and the symptoms they cause and may require different treatments. They can all affect humans, and they all target the liver.
Is a viral infection of the liver and is spread by the faecal-oral route including contaminated food, water, or direct contact with an infected person. Vaccination and good hygiene prevent infection. Hepatitis A NSW Health fact sheet.
Is a virus that can cause damage to the liver. It is sometimes called Hep B or HBV. Hep B is in all body fluids but is spread through direct blood contact and unprotected sex. Getting vaccinated is the best prevention. Hepatitis B NSW Health fact sheet.
Also known as hep C, hep C is a liver illness caused by infection with the hepatitis C virus. Hep C is passed by blood-to-blood contact with someone who already has the virus. This may involve sharing of drug injecting equipment and to a lesser degree unsterile tattooing and skin piercing or medical needle stick injuries. Hep C is relatively easy to treat. Left untreated it can lead to serious liver disease. Hepatitis C NSW Health fact sheet.
Our clinic staff provide free testing, support, assessment, and treatment for chronic hepatitis C in a safe and private space.
We run programs to increase awareness of hepatitis and supply information resources.
- Hepatitis C diagnosis, assessment, and treatment
Prevention and testing
There is no vaccine available to protect you from infection with hepatitis C. The best way to be protected is to avoid exposure to blood that may contain hepatitis C.
Consider getting tested for hepatitis C if you have any of these risk factors now or in the past:
- sharing or reusing other people’s injecting equipment
- tattooing and piercing with non-sterile equipment
- men who have sex with men (who are HIV positive). The risk is higher if one or more partners has HIV, or if the sex involves blood-to-blood contact, of if they have other STIs, or if recreational drugs are used
- contaminated medical procedures, prior to 1990
- medical procedures overseas
- migrants from countries with high levels of hep C.
A blood test can be taken by your GP or sexual health service to see if you have ever been or are currently infected with hepatitis C.
Some people may be able to access hepatitis C testing through Dried Blood Spot testing.
The Dried Blood Spot (DBS) test is a new, free, easy, private, and accurate way to test for HIV and Hepatitis C in Aboriginal People and people who have ever injected drugs. The kit is ordered online and once received it involves taking a few drops of blood that you collect from yourself at home. You return the test in a reply-paid envelope and receive the result by phone, text or email. You don't need to go to a clinic or a doctor to do this test.
Some people with hepatitis C will clear the virus naturally whilst others will have ongoing infection (chronic hepatitis C). Treatment can be accessed by anyone who has chronic hepatitis C.
Find out more through Hepatitis NSW if hep C treatment is for you.
Treatment for chronic hepatitis C:
- 12 weeks of daily tablets for most people (no injections)
- 95% chance of cure
- none or mild side effects.
Benefits of treatment:
- improved liver health
- no longer experience hepatitis C symptoms
- improved life experience in the knowledge that you have cleared the virus and can no longer pass it on to others.
GPs, Hepatitis C treatment services, infectious diseases specialists, hepatologists and gastroenterologists can all prescribe hepatitis C treatments. Some sexual health services provide hepatitis C treatment or can provide referral to treatment services.
If you have chronic hepatitis C and would like treatment, your GP, specialist or hepatitis C nurse will undertake an assessment prior to starting.
The assessment includes:
- Blood test to check the type of hep C you have and the amount of virus in your body
- A check for cirrhosis – this could be done by a blood test or a Fibroscan where available. A Fibroscan is a non-invasive test for liver disease due to hepatitis C.
- A review of current medicines you are taking and if you have any previous history of hepatitis C treatment.
Wagga Wagga Sexual Health and Hepatitis C treatment services
Health Services Hub
Albury Hepatitis C treatment service
596 Smollett Street
Bega Hepatitis C treatment service
South East Regional Hospital
Queanbeyan Hepatitis C treatment service
Queanbeyan Community Health
SNSWLHD Central Intake Line