Am I at risk?

It is predicted that around 50,000 New Zealanders have hepatitis C, although around half of them are unaware they have it. Some people are more likely to be at risk of having contracted hepatitis C than others due to circumstances in their lives, such as:

  • Having injected drugs (including opioids, methamphetamine or performance and image enhancing drugs)
  • Receiving a tattoo or body piercing using unsterile equipment
  • Having been in prison
  • Receiving medical treatment in South East Asia, China, Eastern Europe or the Middle East
  • Contracting the virus at birth from their mother who had hepatitis C
  • Receiving a blood transfusion or blood products before 1992

If you have injected drugs, even just once, then there is a chance you have hepatitis C. You can also be re-infected with hepatitis C, even if you have been treated for it in the past. If one of the above risk factors applies to you since your treatment, you should get tested to be sure.

The only way to be certain about hepatitis C is to be tested. Delaying this test may result in damage to your liver, so if you think you are at risk it is best to get tested right away.