hepatitis; C; jaundice; infectious; disease; carrier; virus; liver; infection; cirrhosis; interferon; ribavirin; transfusion; blood;
Hepatitis means there is an inflammation of the liver. Inflammation is a natural reaction of the body to injury. Hepatitis can be caused by alcohol, some drugs, some chemicals and viruses. There are several different viruses that cause hepatitis, such as hepatitis A, B and C.
What is hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C is caused by a group of slow acting viruses passed on only through blood to blood contact. Hepatitis C virus is often called Hep C or HCV.
HCV has only been recognised since 1987, and a test for it has only been available in Australia since 1991. It is thought that 500 million people worldwide and about 250,000 people in Australia have hepatitis C. In Australia at least half of these people do not know they have the infection.
There are about 10,000 people in Australia who get the infection each year, and almost all of these people get the infection through sharing equipment used for injecting drugs.
Information about hepatitis C
For more detailed information on hepatitis C, the South Australian Department of Health web site has the following fact sheet:
The Hepatitis C Council of South Australia has a lot of information about hepatitis C, living with hep C and services for people with hep C:
Hepatitis SA Helpline 1300 437 222 during business hours
Clinic 275 (the sexually transmitted diseases clinic in Adelaide, South Australia) has information on their web site about a range of sexually transmitted diseases, including hepatitis C:
Deparetment of Health Victoria - for information about hepatitis C in languages other than English
The information on this site should not be used as an alternative to professional care. If you have a particular problem, see a doctor, or ring the Parent Helpline on 1300 364 100 (local call cost from anywhere in South Australia).
This topic may use 'he' and 'she' in turn - please change to suit your child's sex.