Hep C is the most common type of viral hepatitis. It is caused by a blood-borne virus that attacks the liver and is easily spread by sharing drug injecting equipment and through sex.
Within a few weeks of contracting Hep C, most people experience a range of symptoms, including mild flu-like symptoms, nausea, extreme tiredness, itchy skin or stomach pain.
Hep C is contracted when infected blood gets into another person’s bloodstream. The most common way to contract it is through shared or unsanitary needles. Hepatitis C can also be transmitted through sex, but it is less common.
HIV & Hepatitis C
People living with HIV and Hep C have a higher risk for serious and more life-threatening complications, because coinfection more than triples the risk for things such as liver disease or liver failure. Viral hepatitis progresses faster and causes more liver related issues to those living with HIV as opposed to those who are not.
There are a few things that HIV and Hepatitis C have in common:
- Both are generally transmitted through blood but can be spread through sexual contact.
- Both HIV and Hepatitis C can have subtle symptoms that you may not recognize right away.
- Left untreated or mismanaged, both viruses are fatal.
Living coinfected with both HIV and Hep C is possible. In most cases, both can be treated effectively, treatment is just a little more complex.
If you have more than one of the above symptoms and believe that you have been at risk of contracting Hep C, you should arrange to have a Hep C test as soon as possible.
Tests are typically done by a simple blood test and you can book one of these be contacting us by phone or email.
Once you have had your test, your results will usually come back within a few days. Until you know the result, make sure you use a condom with anyone that you have sex with, as your body fluids are highly infectious during the early weeks after transmission.
There are a range of antiviral treatments on offer and are typically taken once or twice a day for 12 weeks.