It only takes a small amount of blood to transmit Hep C
Hep C is contagious and spread when infected blood from someone with the hepatitis C virus comes into contact with your blood. The Hep C virus can survive outside the body for days even in tiny and unseen traces of dry blood.
Infection can occur if you’ve been tattooed or had a body piercing with contaminated equipment or ink, if you had a blood transfusion in New Zealand before 1992, or if you’ve shared needles for injecting drugs – even once. Hep C can also be transmitted in other ways.
What are the symptoms of Hep C? It’s common for people not to have any symptoms. If symptoms do appear, they can be mild and vague, including extreme tiredness, joint pain, loss of appetite, nausea or abdominal pain.
Modern treatments are now available that are well tolerated, simple to take and can cure the virus in almost everyone living with Hep C.
You are considered cured when no hepatitis C virus is found in a blood test taken 3 months after treatment has finished.
As with all treatments there may be side effects. Your Doctor will advise what’s best for you.
After successful treatment many of these symptoms can disappear.
Use our risk factors and symptoms checklist to see if you should get tested for Hep C.