Drugs for the treatment of hepatitis C

What is hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is an infectious disease that attacks the liver, causing its inflammation, and may lead to cirrhosis, end stage liver disease, liver cancer, and in some cases death. For more information on Hepatitis C, please visit our Hepatitis C fact sheet.

What are genotypes and do they matter?

Hepatitis C is the most Six different genotypes of hepatitis C have been identified. Genotypes 1 and 3 are the most common causes of hepatitis C in Australia and make up 90 per cent of all cases. They are important because they help determine the treatment you need. Unlike in the past, however, your genotype is not important in terms of the chance of cure. With the treatment drugs, all six genotypes have a very high chance of cure.

What causes hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is caused by a blood borne virus and can be transmitted by infected blood through exposure to contaminated blood products, breaches in infection control in health care settings, mother to child transmission, unsafe tattooing or body piercing practices, or sharing of injecting equipment.

How many Victorians are affected by hepatitis C and who is affected?

Hepatitis C is the most common blood borne virus in Australia with approximately 230,000 people currently living with hepatitis C in Australia and around 65,000 in Victoria. 

The population most at risk of acquiring hepatitis C are people who currently inject drugs including people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, prisoners, older people, and young injectors and/or new initiates to injecting drug use


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