During the month of May, in partnership with Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada and the BC Centre for Disease control, the National Hepatitis C Awareness campaign was held. The launch on May 1st, 2014 was held at the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre.
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.