World Hepatitis Day 2012

July 28 is World Hepatitis Day, dedicated to raising awareness for this virus that infects 1 in 12 people worldwide. Hepatitis C is a a blood-borne virus that attacks the liver causing inflammation and scarring. It can lead to long-term complications such as liver damage, liver failure, and liver cancer.

The primary risk factor for hepatitis C transmission is injection drug use, through the sharing of infected needles. In Canada, 3 out of 4 new infections are related to injection drug use. In Ottawa, 60% of injection drug users have contracted hepatitis C.

Supervised consumption sites would help to prevent the spread of hepatitis C by providing people who use drugs with clean drug equipment, and safe disposal of used needles and pipes. In fact, a recent study suggests that such a facility in Ottawa would avert 35 new hepatitis C infections each year.
World Hepatitis Day 2012
Learn more about hepatitis at Ottawa’s World Hepatitis Day BBQ on Friday, July 27. Public Health Nurses will be available to talk about hepatitis testing and vaccination. In addition, Ottawa Public Health will be offering free hepatitis B and C testing and free hepatitis A and B vaccines for those who qualify. Bring your family and friends to this free informative BBQ lunch.

When: July 27, 2012 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Where: St. Paul’s Eastern United Church, 473 Cumberland Street, Ottawa (map)
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