Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus.hepc ribbon
Hepatitis is a general term meaning inflammation of the liver.
There are different hepatitis viruses that affect the liver. The three types that are common in Canada are hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Hepatitis C is a preventable disease of the liver caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Hepatitis C was discovered in the 1980s when it became apparent that there was a new virus causing liver damage. It was known as non-A non-B hepatitis until it was properly identified in 1989.
Hepatitis C is spread when blood carrying the virus gets into the bloodstream of another person.
  • This usually happens through breaks in the skin or breaks in the lining of the nose and mouth.
  • Hepatitis C is a strong virus and can live outside of the body for many days. This means that dried blood can also pass the virus.
The virus is usually spread by direct contact with the blood of an infected person. This happens most often by:
  • Sharing drug snorting or injection equipment such as needles and syringes
  • Accidentally poking yourself with a used needle and syringe
  • Having received a transfusion of blood or blood product in a country where the blood supply is not tested for hepatitis C.
  • In Canada, this applies only to transfusions before 1990. As of June 1990 all blood and blood products have been screened for the hepatitis C virus.
Other situations where blood-to-blood contact from a hepatitis C infected person can occur but the risk is much lower include:
  • Sharing toothbrushes, dental floss, razors, nail files, or other items which could have tiny amounts of blood on them
  • Skin-piercing procedures such as tattoos, body-piercing, acupuncture or electrolysis if the equipment is not sterile
  • Sexual intercourse
  • An infected mother passing it to her newborn infant. Whether breast milk can transmit the virus is not yet known.


Watch:  World Hepatitis Day, July 28, 2014 Victoria BC – The lived experience 



HepCBC is a non-profit organization run by and for people infected and affected by hepatitis C. Our mission is to provide education, prevention and support to those living with HCV.

The Pacific Hepatitis C Network (PHCN)
The Pacific Hepatitis C Network (PHCN) is a non-profit community-based organization founded in March 2007.  Before then, members from across the province worked together as a grassroots group, known as the Hepatitis C Collaborative Circle and later as the Hepatitis C Council of BC.

Help4HepBC – 1-888-411-7578
Help4HepBC is a peer-to-peer helpline where Peer Navigators work with callers to meet the challenges of hepatitis C head-on. Callers talk one-to-one with a real person, typically someone who’s had hepatitis C touch their own life. Callers talk about the specifics of their particular situation. The phone call, support and information are confidential and free of charge.



 AIDS Vancouver Island
Vancouver Island Persons Living With HIV/AIDS Society (VPWAS) 205 - 1120 Yates Street, Coast Salish Territories, Victoria, BC. V8V 3M9
Phone: 250.382.7927 | Fax: 250.382.3232 | Toll Free: 1.877.382.7927 | support@vpwas.org | www.vpwas.org | Login