What is Hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C – hep C or HCV – is part of a group of hepatitis viruses that causes swelling of the liver – which is when your liver becomes swollen and painful.
Is hepatitis C serious?
It can be severe and, without proper treatment and care, can cause liver disease and liver cancer leading to death.
How do you get hepatitis C?
It can be passed on quickly, and you can get it if you:
- share contaminated needles and syringes during recreational drug use
- are exposed to unsterilized tattoo, body-piercing or medical/dental devices (occasionally you can get it from sharing a towel, razor blades or a toothbrush if there is infected blood on them)
- have unprotected sex (sex without a condom or dental dam), including vaginal, anal and oral sex with someone who has it (even if they don’t have symptoms)
- share sex toys that aren’t washed or covered with a new condom each time they are used
- practice anal rimming, sex, fingering or fisting without condoms, dental dams or latex gloves
- receive a transfer of unscreened blood and blood products
- are a pregnant lady with it. You can pass the virus on to your unborn baby.