• May is National Aboriginal Hepatitis C Awareness Month
May 05, 2014

The Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network, Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada and Hepatitis Services, BC Centre for Disease Control are partnering on the National Aboriginal Hepatitis C Awareness Campaign having agreed upon a mutual desire to work together to recognize the diversity and rights of Aboriginal Peoples regardless of residency, including the rights of Aboriginal Peoples to access and benefit from hepatitis C (HCV) prevention education and awareness, as well as related care, treatment and support to maintain a quality of life in a culturally appropriate manner.

In that spirit, these partners are working together to launch the National Aboriginal Hepatitis C Awareness Campaign and a month of activities will be held during the month of May.  Four major cities; Vancouver, Regina, Toronto and Halifax have been identified to carry out these activities.

Hepatitis C is a major concern amongst Aboriginal people in Canada.  Poor health, poverty, low education, limited housing, high unemployment, and sanitation problems are important factors that promote the spread of hepatitis C infections among Aboriginal peoples. Factors that increase the risk of hepatitis C infections include the regular use of injection drugs and involvement in other high-risk activities at an early age. Aboriginal prisoners in Canada’s jails may be at greater risk due to the high rates of infection among this population. As well, researchers have identified the previous widespread use of non-disposable medical equipment as a potential cause for hepatitis C infections among Inuit.

Researchers believe that infection rates for hepatitis C are higher among Inuit and First Nations (1% to 18%) compared to other the Canadians (0.5% to 2%). Research also suggests that the pattern of infections and the various factors that place Aboriginal people at risk are different from other Canadians and therefore hepatitis C prevention education and health promotion should be different as well.

This is the first year of the annual national campaign to take place and it is planned that the more communities learn about this virus the better they will be able to protect themselves and those they love.

Many resources are available online including brochures, posters, and Guide for Getting Ready for Treatment.  You may also contact our offices to get print information.

Please click on the links to obtain further information.

Planned Activities

Week One – Two: Launch and Signing Ceremony of Hepatitis C Partners

Download poster here: Hepatitis-C-poster-print