Primary Care Resources

Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a common viral infection and liver disease that can be cured. It is the main cause for liver cancer. Your general practitioner (GP) can treat hepatitis C using medication called direct-acting antiviral drugs (DAAs).

DAAs can cure chronic hepatitis C infection in a matter of months – most often with few or no side effects. The treatment is a simple and safe oral medication taken for 12 weeks. The Ministry of Health is aiming to end hepatitis C by 2028.


What are the risk factors for hepatitis C?

In Australia, people who may have a higher risk of hepatitis C infection are those who:

  • Inject drugs, or have injected drugs in the past
  • Have been in prison
  • Had a blood transfusion in Australia before February 1990, or more recently in another country
  • Have a mother with hepatitis C infection
  • Have a sexual partner with hepatitis C infection and are HIV positive
  • Have had haemodialysis
  • Were born in, or have had medical procedures in a country with a high prevalence of hepatitis C
  • Have had a tattoo or body piercing done by someone with poor infection control practices.
  • Have had other blood to blood contact with another person

Reference: NSW Health


What are the signs and symptoms of hepatitis C?

If there are symptoms, they usually develop within one to three months of infection and can include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea, sometimes with vomiting
  • Tiredness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
  • Dark urine and pale stools

Reference: NSW Health


What can I do if I think I have hepatitis C?

If you think you might have hepatitis C, talk to your GP and ask for a blood test. hepatitis C is treatable, and your doctor will be able to help you!


Where can I learn more about hepatitis C?

Find more information at: