Eliminating Viral Hepatitis in Aboriginal Communities of BC
British Columbia’s Aboriginal communities (both rural and urban) are at particular risk of viral hepatitis (B and C) for a variety of reasons, including a common practice of shared vaccination needles a few decades back, frequent “top-up” transfusions following childbirth, various Residential school practices, endemic hepatitis B in the far north, distrust of confidentiality in small local health units, and unnecessary shame which can lead people to avoid testing and treatment, or even discussing viral hepatitis at all.
Rural and Urban Aboriginal communities have different needs and lifestyles; however, the viral hepatitis knowledge the two communities need overlaps in many ways. This page is dedicated to helping speed up the elimination of viral hepatitis in Aboriginal Communities worldwide, starting in British Columbia! SEE BELOW FOR:
- Free brochures (8″ X 11″) and posters (11″ X 18″) – downloadable or request hard copies by mail
- Message written by and for Aboriginal people by Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN)
- Links to Photos and other Information about HepCBC’s Outreach Roadshows which have visited numerous Aboriginal communities throughout the province over several years
- Other Great Links about Eliminating Viral Hepatitis in Aboriginal Communities!
- Invitation to share or participate in viral hepatitis outreach activities in your community
First, HepCBC invites you to download or request hard copies (free) of our posters and brochure created under the advice of medical professionals, HCV+ people, and affected family members from Aboriginal communities in both rural and urban British Columbia. Your feedback is always welcome. Please help us to distribute and to continue improving our publications.
DONT ASK ME poster – simple version: ‘Don’t Ask Me How I Caught It – Ask Me How I’m Doing’. Original photography donated by Ramana Waldhaus, of Haida Gwaii.
DONT ASK ME poster- more info version: about the types of liver damage HCV can cause: Cirrhosis, Liver Cancer, Liver Transplant, and Liver Failure. Following successful treatment, life-threatening complications may be prevented. Liver damage can be reversed if stopped in time! Original photography donated by Ramana Waldhaus, of Haida Gwaii.
MEDICINE WHEEL poster about HCV: “The needs of someone living with hepatitis C are like the needs of the rest of the community” – Poster, wheel text and design concept and permission to re-distribute them thanks to Terry Optekamp, Community Health Representative from Chippewas of Nawash Health Centre.
NO COMMUNITY IS TOO SMALL OR TOO REMOTE FOR HCV poster: “Everyone deserves HCV information, confidential testing, treatment, and support.” Photos taken on HCV outreach trip to northwestern BC in 2013 by Cheryl Reitz of HepCBC. “Thanks to all the wonderful smiling new friends!”
NORTHERN & REMOTE COMMUNITY AT INCREASED HCV RISK poster: “Due to Stigma & Isolation, Uncertain Testing will be Confidential, Distance from Treatment Centres, Lack of Peer Support, Fear of Disclosure Consequences, Inability to access Transplant Services, and Lack of Accessible Information.” Photo purchased from Stock Photo service, “Shutterstock #84158728”.
WHY TO GET TREATED FOR HEPATITIS C poster: “Deaths in Canada due to hepatitis C have exceeded those due to HIV/AIDS since 2007. Hepatitis C kills more slowly but can be deadly if untreated. If positive, get treatment right away. It is now QUICK (8 – 12 weeks), EASY (no needles, few if any side-effects), and can SAVE your LIFE (95% cure rate)!” Plate 11 from “Hepatitis C and Hepatitis B Can be Eliminated” Colouring Book, coloured by an inmate at William Head institution, Metchosin, BC.