Te Whatu Ora media release - Get a hepatitis C test on World Hepatitis Day to put your worries behind you

Te Whatu Ora media release - Get a hepatitis C test on World Hepatitis…

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Get a hepatitis C test on World Hepatitis Day to put your worries behind you

 

New Zealanders at risk of hepatitis C should make sure to get a quick and easy finger-prick test on World Hepatitis Day this Thursday (28 July), says Dr Nick Chamberlain, National Director of Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand National Public Health Service.

 

“Most people with hepatitis C can be cured by a simple oral treatment that is free with just a prescription.

 

“Around 40,000-45,000 New Zealanders are living with chronic hepatitis C. While some people with hepatitis C experience unusual tiredness, joint pain, loss of appetite, nausea and abdominal pain, many people don’t notice any symptoms until irreparable damage has occurred.

 

“If left untreated, up to a quarter of people with hepatitis C will develop cirrhosis, which can progress to life-threatening liver cancer or liver failure,” says Dr Nick Chamberlain.

 

“More than 200 New Zealanders continue to die from hepatitis C each year. Many of these deaths could have been prevented by earlier diagnosis and treatment because hepatitis C is now ‘easy test, easy cure’.

 

“I strongly urge anyone at risk of hepatitis C to get tested even if you don’t have any symptoms.

 

“There are lots of places you can get a hepatitis C finger-prick test including some pharmacies, Kaupapa Māori health providers and needle exchanges, plus there are mobile services visiting key locations. You can find out where to get a hepatitis C test by visiting the Ministry of Health website or by asking your GP.

 

“You’ll get your test results within minutes and they’re 100 percent confidential – no questions asked.

 

“If you do test positive, there’s an easy cure called Maviret that is taken orally for about 8-12 weeks. It’s free with a prescription and has a success rate of up to 98 percent.”

 

You are at risk of hepatitis C if you:

·       have ever injected drugs or shared equipment

·       have ever received a tattoo or body piercing using unsterile equipment

·       had a blood product transfusion before 1992

·       have ever lived in a high-risk country or received medical treatment there

·       have ever been in prison

·       were born to a mother with hepatitis C.


 

 

Note to editors:

 

Key locations where hepatitis C testing is available this Thursday, World Hepatitis Day, include:

·       pharmacies across Northland and Auckland

·       Wellington City Mission, 19 Gordon Place, Newtown (1.30-2.30pm)

·       He Waka Tapu, 161 Pages Rd, Wainoni, Christchurch (1-3pm)

·       Huntly West Pharmacy, 4 Bridge Street, Huntly

·       Gordon’s Pharmacy, 1 Mangapapa Road, Gisborne

·       Vivian Street Pharmacy, 95 Vivian Street, New Plymouth

·       Anglesea Pharmacy, 9 Thackeray Street, Hamilton

·       Mount Medical Centre, 257 Maunganui Road, Mt Maunganui

·       Te Korowai General Practices in:

o   Coromandel (225 Kapanga Road)

o   Thames (210 Richmond Street)

o   Whitianga (2 Coghill Street)

o   Paeroa (43 Belmont Road)

o   Te Aroha (221 Whitaker Street)

·       Needle exchanges in:

o   New Plymouth (169 De Havilland Drive)

o   Hamilton (16 Vialou Street)

o   Mount Maunganui (21 Totara Street)

o   Rotorua (1478 Hinemoa Street)

o   Wellington (233a Willis Street)



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