Working with your community to end hepatitis c in Australia

Something historic is happening! Australia could be the first country in the world to eliminate hepatitis C. We have a cure, now Australians need to know about it.

Ending Hepatitis C is a national campaign raising public awareness of hepatitis C and its cure. Australia aims to find and cure 50,000 people of hepatitis C by 2023. Australia’s Biggest Quiz is a community event, bringing attention to the campaign. As a community we can achieve this significant goal and eliminate hepatitis C.

More than 115,000 people were living with hepatitis C in Australia at the end of 2020
Of people living with chronic hepatitis C have not been diagnosed 
50% of people living with hepatitis C have been cured in the last 5 years
Liver cancer is the fastest growing cause of cancer deaths in Australia


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frequently asked Questions

What is hepatitis C?


Hepatitis C (sometimes called hep C or HCV) is a blood borne virus that affects your liver.

What can hepatitis C do to a person’s health?


Without treatment, hepatitis C can cause liver disease and liver cancer.

Can hepatitis C be cured?


YES! There is a highly effective and affordable cure for hepatitis C.

How is hepatitis C treated?

  • A GP can usually provide a script for a simple and effective cure

  • Some people may need to see a specialist doctor if their liver is badly damaged or they have other health issues

  • Anyone with a Medicare card can receive the cure for $41 for each script (2-3 scripts for a full course), or less than $7 per script if you have a concession card

  • Most people take 1-3 tablets a day for 8-12 weeks, with mild side effects, if any at all

  • If you have been treated before, you can be treated again.

Is there a vaccine for hepatitis C?


No. Unlike hepatitis A and hepatitis B, there is no vaccine for hepatitis C. However, hepatitis C is preventable by practicing good blood safety and having in place good systems like regulating tattoo parlors.

How many people are living with hepatitis C in Australia?


About 115,000 people are currently living with hepatitis C. Over the last 5 years this number has halved thanks to new cure/treatment becoming more widely available and accessible.

Australia has set itself the target to eliminate the hepatitis C virus as a public health threat by 2030 and could be the first country in the world to do so!

If there’s a simple and effective cure, why are there still 115,000 people living with hepatitis C in Australia?


There are several reasons why people are still living with hepatitis C, including:

  • The cure only became available to most Australians in 2016.
  • They might not know they have hepatitis C – often the symptoms of hepatitis C aren’t obvious until a person’s liver is already very damaged. This can take many years.
  • They may have been told it was incurable – many people were diagnosed with hepatitis C (sometimes called non-A, non-B hepatitis) before much was known about it. They may have been told at the time there was nothing they could do.
  • They may be scared of treatment - in the past, Interferon treatment had terrible side-effects. Modern treatments are much more tolerable and many people have no side effects at all.
  • They may be worried about stigma – unfortunately many people have experienced stigma and discrimination because they live with hepatitis C. This can stop them reaching out for support.

All of these are reasons why this national campaign is so important.

What are the symptoms?


People with hepatitis C often do not have any symptoms until their liver is already very damaged.

People often dismiss symptoms as just part of getting older. While many people are asymptomatic and can have it for a long time without knowing, common symptoms include:

• Feeling tired and sleep problems
• Aches, pain and fever
• Mood swings, anxiety and depression
• Feeling sick, poor appetite and indigestion
• Skin rashes and itchy skin
• Dry eyes
• Mouth ulcers

The only way to know if you have hepatitis C is to have a blood test. - just ask your GP to test for it as part of a regular health check.

If there aren’t any obvious symptoms how do people know if they should get tested?


Many of the hepatitis C symptoms can be attributed to other health problems. That’s why it’s important to be aware of, and talk to a GP about risk factors to decide if you should be tested.

You can get hepatitis C if your blood comes into contact with infected blood. Some of the ways this can happen include:

  • Tattooing or body piercing with unsterile equipment, including getting tattoos overseas
  • Using unsterile needles, syringes and injecting equipment
  • Medical procedures overseas
  • Blood transfusions in Australia before 1990
  • Sharing toothbrushes, razors or nail files

You cannot get hepatitis C through casual contact such as hugging, kissing or sharing food. Hepatitis C is not sexually transmissible.

How do you get tested for hepatitis C?


The only way to know if you have hepatitis C is to have a blood test. Hepatitis C is not generally tested for on routine blood tests. If you think you may be at risk of having hepatitis C you can ask your GP to test for it.

How can I support people living with hepatitis C?


Talk about it! Many people don’t know that hepatitis C can be cured or that they could be living with the virus.

By sharing information about the campaign with your friends, family, colleagues or clients you can help people access testing and treatment. To stay up-to-date on the campaign and get access to posters and other materials, register your interest here.

Where can I find more information or get support?


National Hepatitis Infoline: 1800 437 222

The National Hepatitis Infoline directs you to the community-based hepatitis organisation in your state or territory. The people taking your calls are trained by hepatitis organisations that are members of Hepatitis Australia. They provide on the ground support in local communities and offer friendly and confidential help.  

Hepatitis Australia website:

To find out more or access support, call the National

Hepatitis Infoline on

1800 437 222


Enabling and empowering everyone in Australia to live free from the impact of hepatitis.

Hepatitis Australia is the peak community organisation progressing national action on issues of importance to people affected by hepatitis. Our members are the eight state and territory hepatitis organisations.

We are proud to be bringing the Ending Hepatitis C campaign and presenting Australia's Biggest Quiz event nationally this October. 

Visit us at: 

Australia's Biggest Quiz Logo

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