About hep C
About 50,000 New Zealanders are living with hepatitis C, half are not yet diagnosed.
Could you be one of them?
What is Hepatitis C?
Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver
When the liver is inflamed or damaged, its function can be affected. The liver performs many vital functions, including removal of waste products, fighting infection, controlling bleeding, digesting food and storing energy. Hepatitis C (hep C) is inflammation of the liver that results from infection with the hep C virus, which is transmitted through blood.
Who is at Risk of Hepatitis C?
Infection can occur if you’ve been tattooed or had a body piercing with unsterile equipment, if you had a blood transfusion in New Zealand before 1992 or, if you’ve shared needles for injecting drugs – even once. However, hep C can be transmitted in many other ways too and it’s common for people not to notice any symptoms.
Many people with hep C do not have symptoms and therefore don’t know they are infected. If symptoms occur they may be non-specific and can include: feeling tired, abdominal discomfort, nausea, lack of appetite, muscle aches, fever, itch, vagueness and depression. Because most people who live with hep C have no symptoms and are not aware that they are infected, over many years the virus can cause damage to the liver which can lead to serious health problems.
The only way to know if you have hep C is to get tested.
The AbbVie hep C information website, www.hepCinfo.co.nz, tells you more about hep C and how to get tested and has a checklist you can complete and take to your doctor if you think you have any of the risk factors or symptoms.
The good news
98% of people who take MAVIRET as directed and who are new to treatment and without liver scarring (cirrhosis) can expect to be cured* of their hepatitis C (hep C), meaning that the hep C virus has been cleared from the body.