Did you know that around 45,000 New Zealanders are living with Hepatitis C, but only half of them know it?
Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus that attacks the liver and can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer.
There is now a highly effective treatment (a short course of tablets for eight weeks) that can cure up to 98% of those with hepatitis C, but with so many people unaware they have the virus it’s important that people get tested and diagnosed.
The Test and Treat programme, for New Zealanders with hepatitis C infections, has being launched in selected community pharmacies across the Northern Region – making testing and treatment easier and more accessible than ever before.
The pharmacies provide a quick finger prick test for hepatitis C virus infection and also safe and effective treatment if you test positive. There is no appointment or prescription needed and your results take around five minutes to come back.
At risk people include those who had a blood transfusion before 1992, received a tattoo or body piercing using unsterile equipment, have ever injected drugs, been in prison, received medical treatment in a high-risk country, or been born to a mother with hepatitis C.
It you think you should be tested, talk with your pharmacist or family doctor.
Find out more about The National Hepatitis C Action Plan for Aotearoa New Zealand() which aims to eliminate viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030.
Hepatitis C testing is available at these ADIO needle exchange centres().