Xs4 t5 Pauktuutit wkw5 x3nw5 vnbu INUIT WOMEN OF CANADA. Frequently Asked Questions. About Hepatitis C Q&A

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1 Xs4 t5 Pauktuutit wkw5 x3nw5 vnbu INUIT WOMEN OF CANADA Frequently Asked Questions About Hepatitis C Q&A

2 Design EarthLore Communications Photos: front cover, back cover and pages 11 and 13 in question mark Lee Narraway Photo: inside front cover and inside back cover David Boult Photos pages: 4, 14 and 15 Nick Newbery Photos pages: 2, 3 and 13 istock Photos pages: 4, 5, 7, 10, 12, 14, and 15 Pauktuutit Illustrations pages: 11 and 13 EarthLore Communications Content is used for illustrative purposes only and any person depicted in the content is a model.

3 Q&A 1 What is hepatitis C? Hepatitis C is a virus that can cause damage to the liver.

4 2 Frequently Asked Questions About Hepatitis C How is Hepatitis C passed? The hepatitis C virus is passed when there is blood-to-blood contact between someone with hepatitis C and a person without the virus. Hepatitis C is often passed by: sharing injection equipment such as needles and syringes sharing drug snorting equipment such as straws sharing pipes (crack, heroin, meth, etc.)

5 Q&A 3 Hepatitis C can sometimes be passed by: piercing & tattooing sharing things like toothbrushes, razors, or nail files unprotected sex (e.g., if there is blood like in rough sex) accidentally being poked with a used needle a mother passing it to her newborn infant

6 4 Frequently Asked Questions About Hepatitis C Are there symptoms from hepatitis C? At first, most people will have no or only a few symptoms, but

7 Q&A 5 over time some develop symptoms such as: feeling tired muscle pain joint pain headaches itchy skin pain in stomach area depression anxiety brain fog nausea

8 6 Frequently Asked Questions About Hepatitis C Is hepatitis C a death sentence? No. Most people who get hepatitis C do not die from it. But, over a long period of time, some will develop: cirrhosis (the liver gets scarred and does not work properly) liver cancer

9 Q&A 7 Do people with hepatitis C need to see a health care provider even if they feel fine? ESTHER AGLUKARK-POWELL RN Role Model Yes. Every 6 to 12 months to monitor the liver! Even if a person feels well and has no symptoms, hepatitis C can still be damaging their liver.

10 8 Frequently Asked Questions About Hepatitis C When do providers check how much virus is in a person s blood? Health care providers will do this blood test when they need to: diagnose a person with hepatitis C check if treatment is working

11 Q&A 9 Are there tests for liver damage? Yes. Your health care providers may do a physical exam and recommend blood or other tests to check for liver damage.

12 10 Frequently Asked Questions About Hepatitis C Can hepatitis C be cured? Yes! Current treatment medications can cure about 70% of those treated* Future treatments could cure more than 90% of those treated. * Rates differ if you have HIV.

13 Q&A 11 Can people who are using substances get treatment? Yes! They should ask for health care providers who have experience giving hepatitis C treatment to people who use substances (e.g. injection drugs, alcohol, methadone).

14 12 Frequently Asked Questions About Hepatitis C These providers will work with the person to discuss and develop a plan to help them fit treatment into their life.

15 Q&A 13 Can people who have hepatitis C and other diseases like HIV or diabetes get hepatitis C treatment? Yes! It s important to discuss all your health issues with your health care provider.

16 14 Frequently Asked Questions About Hepatitis C Are there side effects from hepatitis C treatment? Yes! Symptoms vary, but may include: flu-like symptoms difficulty sleeping extreme tiredness It is important to talk with your health care provider about how to manage treatment side effects.

17 Q&A 15 Treatment can take several months. Most people who get treatment will need emotional, spiritual and physical support during treatment. Support could be from health care and other providers, family, friends, elders and peers.

18 16 Frequently Asked Questions About Hepatitis C Notes

19 This resource was adapted from a resource created by the Attendance for Hepatitis C Care Project. It would not have been possible without the valuable contributions from individuals affected by hepatitis C, service providers and representatives from First Nations, Métis and Inuit organizations across Canada. The original booklet was made possible through partnerships with: the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network, Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada, Chee Mamuk Aboriginal Program, the First Nations Health Authority, the Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada, Red Road HIV/AIDS Network, All Nations Hope, the Ontario Aboriginal AIDS Strategy, the Kamloops Aboriginal Friendship Society, Yúusnewas YouthCo Aboriginal Youth Program and support from the University of British Columbia and the BC Centre for Disease Control, with funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada. The Inuit adaptation was completed by the Canadian Inuit HIV/AIDS Network (CIHAN) and the project advisory committee. For more information, visit or and type Attendance Project in the search box.

20 520 1 Nicholas Street Ottawa, ON K1N 7B7 Tel: Fax:

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