Hep C Stories

Hep C by the numbers*

  • An estimated 71 million people worldwide have chronic hepatitis C infection. Hepatitis C is a major global health problem, yet it receives relatively little attention and funding, both in Canada and internationally.
  • 80% of people who are infected with hepatitis C experience no symptoms whatsoever. This is why many people are unaware that they have hep C. Getting tested is key!
  • 1 out of 100 Canadians have had hep C in their lifetime.
  • 44% of people living with chronic hep C in Canada have not been diagnosed and are unaware of it.
  • Approximately 1 in 4 people with hep C spontaneously clear the infection.
  • 3 in 4 people develop chronic infection and require treatment.
  • Sharing injection drug equipment is the #1 way hepatitis C is passed in Canada.
  • Hep C is more common among certain groups. Of Canadians who have had hep C:
    • 75% were born between 1945 and 1965.
    • 43% use injection drugs (2 out of every 3 people who inject drugs have had it).
    • 35% were born outside Canada.
  • Unlike the old hep C treatments, the success rates of the newer treatments is higher than 95%.
  • Many new treatments require taking just 1 pill a day and cause few side effects.
  • 6-18 months is the length of time that people had to take older hep C treatments.
  • 2-3 months is the length of time a person needs to take most newer hepatitis C treatments. Treatment is much shorter than it used to be and it will likely get even shorter in the future.
*These numbers are estimates, based on the best available data at the time of publication.