EVERY Friday in August, registered nurse Megan Hughes from Sexual Health Tasmania will perform free blood testing for the Hepatitis C virus in a welcoming, confidential environment at the Rosny Needle and Syringe Program (NSP) in the Clarence Integrated Care Centre.
Ms Hughes said a simple blood test was the first step towards treatment that would cure someone of Hepatitis C.
“Hep C is a blood-borne virus that damages a person’s liver,” she said.
“The virus can be transmitted through the sharing of injecting equipment or if you get a tattoo done with equipment that hasn’t been sterilised, but it’s important to understand that any blood-to-blood contact carries this risk.”
“Symptoms can include tiredness, trouble sleeping, mood swings, anxiety and depression, nausea, and poor appetite, but it’s also possible to live with the virus without feeling sick, so the earlier you seek treatment the better.
“If you return a positive test, we’ll find out more about your liver health and give you a prescription for either an eight or 12 week course of one tablet a day that you can take straight to a pharmacy.”
Free Hepatitis C testing will be held at the Clarence Integrated Centre NSP, 18-22 Bayfield Street, every Friday in August from 9am to 4pm – the clinic is closed from 12:30pm to 1pm.
No appointment is necessary and participants will receive a $20 gift voucher.