Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) causes damage to the liver and this can lead to cirrhosis, (scarring of the liver), and eventually liver failure and death.

Some popular misconceptions about hepatitis C are:

• Hepatitis C is incurable. Wrong: hepatitis C can be curable. Currently there is effective antiretroviral treatment for hepatitis C, but it is highly dependent on the subtype of the virus (genotype), the health of your liver and how well you cope with treatment.

• Once you’ve had hepatitis C you can’t catch it again. This is incorrect: even if you clear the virus, you can be re-infected with a different genotype of hepatitis C.

• Only guys who do drugs can get Hepatitis C. Not true: there is increasing evidence that hepatitis C can be passed on during sex – and especially where blood is involved (e.g. fisting, toys, S&M or longer, harder fucking sessions).

info: Information on hepatitis C and STIs is available at www.thedramadownunder.info or www.wrappedorraw.org.au; or for Hepatitis Australia www.hepatitisaustralia.com.au

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