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The Big Picture


FAQs


1 in 5 people with Hepatitis C don't know they have it!

What is Hep C?

Hepatitis C (HCV) is a blood-borne virus that causes inflammation of the liver. Over time this may lead to scarring of the liver and serious liver disease.

What are genotypes?

Genotypes are different strains of the virus. There are six genotypes. The most common genotypes in New Zealand are 1,2 and 3. It is possible for a person to acquire more than one genotype (strain) of hepatitis C. Genotype 1 is the strain most resistant to treatment.

How is Hep C transmitted?

The hepatitis C virus is transmitted only by blood-to-blood or blood to broken skin contact. The most common way hepatitis C is transmitted is by sharing injecting equipment (needles and syringes) including spoons, tourniquets and filters. It can also be contracted from: blood product transmissions before 1992, unsterile medical, dental and cosmetic procedures, unsterile tattooing and body piercing. Hepatitis C is NOT a sexually transmitted infection. However, when blood is present during sex, there is a low chance of transmission. Its perfectly OK to share food, drinks, hugs and kisses with someone who has hepatitis C.

What are the symptoms?

Many people with hepatitis C infection experience no symptoms. Symptoms may not manifest until 15 years or more after initial exposure. The most chronic symptoms of chronic hepatitis C infection are tiredness, feeling unwell and discomfort around the liver.

How many people have Hep C?

It is estimated that over 40,000 people in New Zealand are infected with hepatitis C. Another 1500 people in New Zealand are infected with hepatitis C each year. There are two tests for hepatitis C - 1) antibody Test - a positive result means that you have been exposed to the hepatitis C virus at some time in your life. It does not necessarily mean that you have the hep c virus now. 2) PCR test for HCV RNA - this is used to detect current hepatitis C infection. A positive result means you have the hepatitis C virus in your body. Hepatitis C is the leading cause for cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer, and now the leading cause for liver transplants in New Zealand.

Do I need to disclose that I have it?

A person with hepatitis C is not legally required to disclose his/her positive status unless he/she is:  A member of, or applying to join the NZ Defence force, a healthcare worker undertaking exposure-prone procedures, donating blood. It is illegal to discriminate against a person because he/she has , or is assumed to have, hepatitis C.

What is the treatment?

About 25% of people who contract hepatitis C clear the virus from their bodies without treatment, usually during the first six months after exposure. There is NO vaccine against hepatitis C. Hepatitis C can be treated(cured). Successful treatment means the hepatitis C virus can no longer be detected in his/her blood (PCR) test. Hepatitis C treatment has an overall success rate of 50-80%, depending on the genotype(strain) of hepatitis C and degree of liver damage. Successful treatment does not immunise a person against hepatitis C. It is possible to be re-infected.

Living with Hepatitis C?

There is a higher risk of liver damage if you have hepatitis C and drink alcohol. Hepatitis C can lead to a deterioration in dental health. In some people it reduces saliva production, which in turns affects the health of gums and teeth. Getting hepatitis A or B can lead to a more rapid progression of liver disease in a person with hepatitis C. It is recommended that people with hepatitis C be vaccinated for hepatitis A and B.

 

The Bill of Rights

This information below tells you what these rights are.

All government departments this is including, courts, state-owned enterprises and local authorities must comply with the Bill of Rights.

The Bill provides you with protection from the actions of anyone in government that interfere with your rights.

How does the Bill of Rights actually protect my rights?

The Bill of Rights can protect your rights in two ways:

The Courts can recognize your rights. However, the Courts may need to balance your rights against the rights of others and the interests of the whole community

The Bill of Rights requires the Attorney General to report to Parliament if any proposed law appears inconsistent with the Bill of Rights. The government will have to justify the need for such a law.

What are my rights under the Bill of Rights?

The Bill contains the following rights and duties:

1 Life and Security of the Person

You have the right not to be

            Deprived of life

            Subjected to torture, cruel   treatment or punishment

            Subjected to medical or scientific experimentation.

            You have the right to refuse medical treatment.

2 Democratic and Civil Rights

You have the right to

            Freedom of expression

            Freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief.

            Freedom of peaceful assembly

            Freedom of association

As a New Zealand citizen over 18 you have the right to vote and to be a Member of Parliament so long as you are lawfully in New Zealand you have the right to freedom of movement and residence in New Zealand.

You have the right to practice your own religion or beliefs.

3 Non-Discrimination and Minority Rights

You have the right to be free from discrimination based on the grounds of sex, marital status, religious belief, ethical belief, colour, race, ethnic or national origins, disability, age, political opinion, employment status, family status and or sexual orientation.

If you belong to an ethnic, religious, or linguistic minority it is illegal to be denied the right to enjoy the culture or practice the religion or use the language of that minority.

4 Searches, Arrest, and Detention

You have the right not to be subjected to

            Unreasonable search or seizure

            Arbitrary arrest or detention.

If you are arrested or detained under the law you have the right to

            Be told  of the reasons for your arrestor detention.

            Consult and instruct a lawyer and be told of that right

            Remain silent and be told of that right

            Challenge the lawfulness of your arrest or detention in court

            Be charged promptly or be released

            Be brought before a court as soon as possible, if not released.

If you are charged with an offence you have the right to

            Be told promptly of the nature of the charge

            Be released unless there is just cause for detention

            Adequate time and facilities to prepare a defense

            Trial by jury if the penalty includes more than 3 months imprisonment

            Free legal assistance if the interests of justice require and you do not have sufficient means

            Free assistance of an interpreter if required.

5 Criminal Procedures

If you are charged with an offence you have the right to a minimum standard of criminal procedure, which includes the right to

            Be tried without undue delay

            Not be forced to be a witness or to confess guilt

            Be presumed innocent until proven guilty

            A fair trial and to attend your own trial

            Present a defense and cross-examine witnesses

            Appeal to a higher court against conviction and sentence.

You are not liable to conviction for anything that was not an offence at the time it occurred. If you are convicted, pardoned, or acquitted of an offence you must not be tried or punished for the same offence again.

6 Right to Justice

If your rights may be affected by a decision of a tribunal or public authority you have the right to

            A fair hearing by an unbiased decision-maker

            Apply for judicial review of that decision.

Every person has the right to bring civil proceedings against, and defend civil proceedings brought against them by the Crown in the same way as civil proceedings between individuals.

For further information about the Bill of Rights we suggest that you contact a lawyer, the Human Rights Commission, Citizens’ Advice Bureau, Community Law Centre, or the Ministry of Justice.

 

FAQs


1 in 5 people with Hepatitis C don't know they have it!

What is Hep C?

Hepatitis C (HCV) is a blood-borne virus that causes inflammation of the liver. Over time this may lead to scarring of the liver and serious liver disease.

What are genotypes?

Genotypes are different strains of the virus. There are six genotypes. The most common genotypes in New Zealand are 1,2 and 3. It is possible for a person to acquire more than one genotype (strain) of hepatitis C. Genotype 1 is the strain most resistant to treatment.

How is Hep C transmitted?

The hepatitis C virus is transmitted only by blood-to-blood or blood to broken skin contact. The most common way hepatitis C is transmitted is by sharing injecting equipment (needles and syringes) including spoons, tourniquets and filters. It can also be contracted from: blood product transmissions before 1992, unsterile medical, dental and cosmetic procedures, unsterile tattooing and body piercing. Hepatitis C is NOT a sexually transmitted infection. However, when blood is present during sex, there is a low chance of transmission. Its perfectly OK to share food, drinks, hugs and kisses with someone who has hepatitis C.

What are the symptoms?

Many people with hepatitis C infection experience no symptoms. Symptoms may not manifest until 15 years or more after initial exposure. The most chronic symptoms of chronic hepatitis C infection are tiredness, feeling unwell and discomfort around the liver.

How many people have Hep C?

It is estimated that over 40,000 people in New Zealand are infected with hepatitis C. Another 1500 people in New Zealand are infected with hepatitis C each year. There are two tests for hepatitis C - 1) antibody Test - a positive result means that you have been exposed to the hepatitis C virus at some time in your life. It does not necessarily mean that you have the hep c virus now. 2) PCR test for HCV RNA - this is used to detect current hepatitis C infection. A positive result means you have the hepatitis C virus in your body. Hepatitis C is the leading cause for cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer, and now the leading cause for liver transplants in New Zealand.

Do I need to disclose that I have it?

A person with hepatitis C is not legally required to disclose his/her positive status unless he/she is:  A member of, or applying to join the NZ Defence force, a healthcare worker undertaking exposure-prone procedures, donating blood. It is illegal to discriminate against a person because he/she has , or is assumed to have, hepatitis C.

What is the treatment?

About 25% of people who contract hepatitis C clear the virus from their bodies without treatment, usually during the first six months after exposure. There is NO vaccine against hepatitis C. Hepatitis C can be treated(cured). Successful treatment means the hepatitis C virus can no longer be detected in his/her blood (PCR) test. Hepatitis C treatment has an overall success rate of 50-80%, depending on the genotype(strain) of hepatitis C and degree of liver damage. Successful treatment does not immunise a person against hepatitis C. It is possible to be re-infected.

Living with Hepatitis C?

There is a higher risk of liver damage if you have hepatitis C and drink alcohol. Hepatitis C can lead to a deterioration in dental health. In some people it reduces saliva production, which in turns affects the health of gums and teeth. Getting hepatitis A or B can lead to a more rapid progression of liver disease in a person with hepatitis C. It is recommended that people with hepatitis C be vaccinated for hepatitis A and B.

 

The Bill of Rights

This information below tells you what these rights are.

All government departments this is including, courts, state-owned enterprises and local authorities must comply with the Bill of Rights.

The Bill provides you with protection from the actions of anyone in government that interfere with your rights.

How does the Bill of Rights actually protect my rights?

The Bill of Rights can protect your rights in two ways:

The Courts can recognize your rights. However, the Courts may need to balance your rights against the rights of others and the interests of the whole community

The Bill of Rights requires the Attorney General to report to Parliament if any proposed law appears inconsistent with the Bill of Rights. The government will have to justify the need for such a law.

What are my rights under the Bill of Rights?

The Bill contains the following rights and duties:

1 Life and Security of the Person

You have the right not to be

            Deprived of life

            Subjected to torture, cruel   treatment or punishment

            Subjected to medical or scientific experimentation.

            You have the right to refuse medical treatment.

2 Democratic and Civil Rights

You have the right to

            Freedom of expression

            Freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief.

            Freedom of peaceful assembly

            Freedom of association

As a New Zealand citizen over 18 you have the right to vote and to be a Member of Parliament so long as you are lawfully in New Zealand you have the right to freedom of movement and residence in New Zealand.

You have the right to practice your own religion or beliefs.

3 Non-Discrimination and Minority Rights

You have the right to be free from discrimination based on the grounds of sex, marital status, religious belief, ethical belief, colour, race, ethnic or national origins, disability, age, political opinion, employment status, family status and or sexual orientation.

If you belong to an ethnic, religious, or linguistic minority it is illegal to be denied the right to enjoy the culture or practice the religion or use the language of that minority.

4 Searches, Arrest, and Detention

You have the right not to be subjected to

            Unreasonable search or seizure

            Arbitrary arrest or detention.

If you are arrested or detained under the law you have the right to

            Be told  of the reasons for your arrestor detention.

            Consult and instruct a lawyer and be told of that right

            Remain silent and be told of that right

            Challenge the lawfulness of your arrest or detention in court

            Be charged promptly or be released

            Be brought before a court as soon as possible, if not released.

If you are charged with an offence you have the right to

            Be told promptly of the nature of the charge

            Be released unless there is just cause for detention

            Adequate time and facilities to prepare a defense

            Trial by jury if the penalty includes more than 3 months imprisonment

            Free legal assistance if the interests of justice require and you do not have sufficient means

            Free assistance of an interpreter if required.

5 Criminal Procedures

If you are charged with an offence you have the right to a minimum standard of criminal procedure, which includes the right to

            Be tried without undue delay

            Not be forced to be a witness or to confess guilt

            Be presumed innocent until proven guilty

            A fair trial and to attend your own trial

            Present a defense and cross-examine witnesses

            Appeal to a higher court against conviction and sentence.

You are not liable to conviction for anything that was not an offence at the time it occurred. If you are convicted, pardoned, or acquitted of an offence you must not be tried or punished for the same offence again.

6 Right to Justice

If your rights may be affected by a decision of a tribunal or public authority you have the right to

            A fair hearing by an unbiased decision-maker

            Apply for judicial review of that decision.

Every person has the right to bring civil proceedings against, and defend civil proceedings brought against them by the Crown in the same way as civil proceedings between individuals.

For further information about the Bill of Rights we suggest that you contact a lawyer, the Human Rights Commission, Citizens’ Advice Bureau, Community Law Centre, or the Ministry of Justice.