What is Hepatitis?

Viral hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver caused by a virus. There are a number of different hepatitis viruses, with
hepatitis B and hepatitis C being the most common in Australia. Small outbreaks of hepatitis A are occasionally seen in Australia but it is not common.

Key facts:

  • While hepatitis A, B and C are all forms of hepatitis they are spread in different ways and affect different populations of people.

  • Infection with hepatitis A can have serious (but short-lived) symptoms and people generally make a full recovery.

  • Infection with hepatitis B can be life-long with treatment used as needed to prevent the onset of serious liver disease.

  • There are effective vaccines to protect against both hepatitis A and B.

  • Infection with hepatitis C can now be cured in as little as 8 to 12 weeks.

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To view information about viral hepatitis in other languages please visit the Multicultural HIV and Hepatitis Service