Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV).

HCV is spread when blood from an infected person enters the body of someone who is not infected.

The most common ways a person can get infected with the hepatitis C virus are:

  • Using needles and equipment that have already been used by someone else for preparing, injecting, inhaling or snorting a drug
  • Using unsterilized equipment during tattooing or piercing
  • Receiving a blood transfusion in Canada prior to 1992, before blood was effectively and routinely screened for hepatitis C

Many people infected with HCV are also infected with HIV. The steps to preventing hepatitis C also apply to preventing HIV.

Some people are able to clear HCV from their body naturally within a few months. However, most infected people do not clear the virus without treatment and may develop life threatening complications, such as liver failure or cancer.

There is no vaccine against HCV 
However, with treatment, hepatitis C is now considered to be a curable infection

For more information on Hepatitis C, please see:

For additional resources on hepatitis C and other sexually transmitted infections, visit:

  • Hepatitis C (Government of Canada)
  • What is Hepatitis C? (Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange (CATIE). Canada’s source for HIV and Hepatitis C information)