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Who is at risk?

Hepatitis C is a blood borne virus which can affect people from all walks of life:

  • people who received blood transfusions/ blood products before 1991
  • mother-to-baby transmission although the risk is low
  • people born in countries with higher levels of hep C eg South East Asia, China, sub-Saharan Africa and the Amazon Basin Eastern and Southern Europe, the Middle East: or those who travelled and received dental or medical treatment in these areas
  • people who have injected drugs, including image and performance enhancing drugs (steroids)   and shared 'works' even once - needles, spoons etc. For instance, if you experimented in the 60s/70s, and have never been offered/taken a test, you could be at high risk of liver disease as you may have had the infection for many years without knowing it.
  • people who have snorted drugs and shared notes or straws
  • unprotected sexual intercourse. Those at a higher risk are men who have sex with men, depending on sexual practices and the use of 'party-drugs'
  • people who have had tattoos or piercings   in unlicensed parlours
  • people with unexplained abnormal liver function tests