Did you know that nearly half of all people in Canada living with viral hepatitis don’t know it? Hepatitis B & C, the most common types of viral hepatitis in Canada, don’t always show signs or symptoms. Testing is the only way to know for sure! Even if you don’t have symptoms, if you have hepatitis, the virus is still impacting your liver. Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent and treat the most common types of hepatitis.
The Twinrix vaccine prevents hepatitis A & B. Vaccination is offered for free in Quebec to people at a heightened risk of contracting it, like men who have sex with men. Antiviral medications that help fight the virus and slow its ability to damage your liver are also available for people who have chronic hepatitis B.
Today’s treatments for hepatitis C include the use of direct acting antivirals which are 95% effective and much easier to tolerate than earlier treatments. One or two pills daily for 8 to 12 weeks works for most people! People at a higher risk, such as people who inject drugs; people who have a history of or are currently incarcerated; men who have sex with men; people living with HIV; and people born or who have traveled to a region where hepatitis is relatively common, are among groups who are recommended to get tested for hepatitis.
Because 75% of those with hepatitis C were born between 1945-1975, many also urge people born within this time to also get tested at least once in their life. Below are some links to give you more information about testing, prevention and treatment of viral hepatitis.
If you have any questions about hepatitis prevention or need help accessing testing or treatment, you can reach out to Lucky, our Treatment Information coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.