Nelson Marlborough Health News and Notices

Hep C treatment: things have changed


Did you know at least 50,000 Kiwis are estimated to have chronic Hepatitis C, but only half of them know?  

Those most at risk of Hepatitis C are people who:
•    Have injected drugs (even if only once)
•    Have received a tattoo or body piercing using unsterile equipment
•    Lived or received medical attention in a high-risk country (South East Asia, China, Eastern Europe (including Russia), or the Middle East)
•    Had a blood transfusion or received blood products prior to 1992
•    Have ever been in prison
•    Were born to a mother living with Hepatitis C.

The most common symptoms include: tiredness, joint pain, loss of appetite, nausea, and abdominal pain. However, many people have no symptoms or do not notice until 20-30 years after infection.

Hep C: A cure is within reach

There is now a simple, quick and painless tool that assesses the health of your liver, using a FibroScan. Things have also changed when it comes to treating Hep C. The new options have a 95 to 98 per cent cure rate with 12 weeks of treatment, with few side effects for people with genotype 1.

The important thing is to get tested. 

For more information contact your GP or the Nelson Marlborough Hep C Community Nurse P: 021 923 945 or visit www.hepatitisfoundation.org.nz/hepatitis-c

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