Key messages

Hepatitis C is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis C virus. People can have hepatitis C for many years before signs or symptoms develop.

There is no vaccination available for hepatitis C, but highly effective treatment is available that can cure a person of the virus.

Hepatitis C is spread when the blood of a person with hepatitis C gets into the bloodstream of another person. Activities with the highest chance of passing hepatitis C include sharing drug use equipment and tattoo or body-piercing equipment, transfusion of blood products that are not routinely screened for hepatitis C and use of unsterilized medical equipment.

Testing is the only way to know if a person has hepatitis C.

Hepatitis C treatments cure more than 95% of people with hepatitis C. Medications to treat hepatitis C come in pill form, are usually taken for eight or 12 weeks, and side effects are generally mild.


What does this mean locally / at your organization?

We suggest you chat with your supervisor and/or colleagues and learn about the following:

  • Where can hepatitis C testing, treatment, prevention and support services be accessed in the community?
  • What harm reduction services (e.g. consumption treatment services) are available in the community?
  • How does your organization support people living with or at risk of hepatitis C? How does your role specifically provide support for people living with or at risk of hepatitis C?


Learn more here

  • Hepatitis C Basics on EduCATIE – CATIE’s Hep C Basics course provides foundational knowledge in hepatitis C (Hep C) for service providers who work with people living with or at risk of Hep C. The course content covers transmission, testing, treatment and health literacy.
  • CATIE Ordering CentreThe CATIE Ordering Centre distributes HIV and hepatitis C resources free-of-charge to frontline service providers across Canada.
  • Hepatitis C Treatment Course – CATIE’s Hepatitis C Treatment course aims to develop in-depth knowledge on the treatment of hepatitis C for frontline service providers working with clients who have hepatitis C or are at risk for hepatitis C.
  • Hepatitis C: An In-Depth Guide – A primer from CATIE covering all the basics of hep C from a biomedical standpoint.
  • Sign up for CATIE Email Newsletters


Training modules

Training module: Hepatitis C Basics

Teaching modality: Self-paced online course
Activity length: 1 hour per week for 4 weeks (4 hours total)
Target audience: Service providers working with people living with or at risk of hepatitis C

Learning objectives: At the end of this course, the learner will be able to:

  • Understand the epidemiology of Hep C in Canada.
  • Explain how Hep C is transmitted and identify ways to prevent Hep C infection.
  • Describe effects of Hep C on the liver.
  • Differentiate between acute and chronic Hep C.
  • Describe the tests used to diagnose and to monitor Hep C .
  • Identify some of the treatments approved for the treatment of Hep C in Canada.
  • Discuss health literacy and identify key barriers that clients may face while navigating the healthcare system.

This course was developed by CATIE.

Register here