Hepatitis C

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Hepatitis C

What is Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is virus carried in the blood (known as a Blood Borne Virus or BBV), the virus affects the liver. It can also be called Hep C or HCV. 

 

How do you get it?

  • Sharing drug injecting equipment; needles, spoons, filters, water, syringes,
  • Sharing equipment for snorting drugs
  • Tattoos or piercings where equipment is not sterile
  • Unprotected sex (sex without a condom)
  • Mother to baby
  • Medical or dental treatment oversees in unsterile environments
  • Needlestick or splash incidents where skin is punctured or broken skin is splashed with infected blood.
  • You may be at risk if you have received a blood transfusion or blood products prior to 1992 in the UK (screening in the UK was introduced in September 1991). Note: Other countries may not screen blood for the Hepatitis C virus

 

How do I know if I have Hepatitis C?

  • Hepatitis C can be present in the body for many years with little or no symptoms, it is therefore important to get tested if you feel you might be at risk of Hepatitis C
  • Most common indicators are flu like symptoms; tiredness, nausea, fever, poor concentration and abdominal pain

 

How do they test for Hepatitis C?

  • Testing for Hepatitis C requires a blood sample.

 

Where can I get tested?

  • Make an appointment with your GP or contact Grampian Sexual Health Services - call 0345 337 9900
  • Your local drug and alcohol services -  speak to your local drug and alcohol support  team  or call ADA on  01224 594700 for more information.

 

What is the treatment for Hepatitis C?

  • With treatment Hep C can be cured.
  • Treatments today are very effective, are all taken orally, have minimal side effects, and give everyone at least 90% chance of clearing the virus.

 

If your are diagnosed with Hepatitis C you will be referred to a specialist liver clinic. The doctors there will discuss treatment with you.

For more information on new treatments for Hepatitis C visit http://www.hepcscot.org/

 

How do I reduce my risk of getting Hepatitis C?

  • Never share needles, syringes, water or any other equipment when injecting drugs
  • Use a condom when having sex
  • Go to a licensed practitioner if you are getting a tattoo or piercing
  • Keep cuts and wounds clean and covered with a waterproof dressing
  • Wear rubber gloves to clean up blood spills
  • Never share toothbrushes or razors
  • There is no vaccine for Hepatitis C

 

For information about treatment and support visit

www.hepatitisscotlandc.org.uk

www.hepcscot.org

 

For more information visit NHS inform

www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/stomach-liver-and-gastrointestinal-tract/hepatitis-c