Hep C in Focus

Hep C in Focus was a special virtual event on July 16, 2020. It featured the presentations available on-demand below, as well as community networking in breaks. This collaboration of women with lived experience of hepatitis C, researchers, and the attendees who shared their day with us was a great experience.

Program at a Glance

On-demand sessions and resources follow schedule

9:00 AM: Opening, introductions, community networking, and resources

9:30 AM:  Bridging the gaps: Equitable access to hepatitis C treatment for people who inject drugs

10:30 – 11:00 AM: Break for community chat – PAN staff available

11:00 AM: Who Are We Missing? Changing the Hep C Cascade of Care for Women 

12:15 – 1:00 Lunch & community chat – PAN staff available

1:00 PM: Stigma Big and Small: Experiences of Women  



Bridging the gaps: Equitable access to hepatitis C treatment for people who inject drugs

Bridging the gaps: Equitable access to hepatitis C treatment for people who inject drugs shared insights from a recent study about equitable access to hepatitis C treatment for people who inject drugs who live in British Columbia (BC). Drawing on their research at the BC Centre on Substance Use, Trevor Goodyear (registered nurse; master’s student), Lianping Ti (research scientist; assistant professor), and Rod Knight (research scientist; assistant professor), shared challenges and opportunities to ensuring that hepatitis C treatments in BC are accessible to all, including people who inject drugs.



Who Are We Missing? Changing the Hep C Cascade of Care for Women  

The cascade of care is used by the healthcare system to track people from diagnosis through cure. Developed by women with lived experiences of hepatitis C and researchers from the BC Hepatitis Testers Cohort, this session turned the cascade upside down, looking at the numbers of women who don’t go through the whole cascade and speaking to some of the reasons why.



Stigma Big and Small: Stigma Experiences of Women

At each stage of program development, women with lived experience noted the stigma that affects their care and services. We decided to devote and entire session to stigma, and this panel discussion shared incidents of stigma and how to create better environments for women dealing with hepatitis C before and after treatment.


Suggested audience:

  • People with lived experience of hepatitis C, community members, and other allies
  • Hepatitis C and HIV organization staff and volunteers
  • Clinicians working with people who inject drugs and/or who have hepatitis C
  • Policy makers and researchers in the fields of hepatitis C and/or substance use
  • Residents of BC seeking more information about hepatitis C care


Resources inspired by Hep C in Focus.  Connect, learn, dive deeper.


Peer support and leadership


Hepatitis C Leadership Project
PAN’s peer-led initiative where hepatitis C community leaders will model their skills and knowledge to inspire other BC community members to embark on leadership journeys.


Help4HepBC offers a peer-to-peer helpline where Peer Navigators work with callers to meet the challenges of hepatitis C head-on. Available by phone or text.


BC Hepatitis Network provides hepatitis education, peer-to-peer support, peer mentorship and training, hepatitis C screening and connection to services and advocacy.


HCV Manifesto shows some of the challenges people with lived experience of hepatitis C, and ways these can be approached.


HepatitisCNet is an online community featuring stories, forums and articles written by people with hepatitis C for people with hepatitis C.




Learn Online


Learn with Others

CATIE’s Hepatitis C Basics course aims to provide foundation knowledge of hepatitis C, covering topics such as hepatitis C transmission, testing, treatment, prevention and health literacy. This is an introductory-level course geared toward service providers who work with people at risk of or living with hepatitis C. Complete modules online then conclude with live learning webinar. October 6 to 30, 2020: Open registration (Canada-wide)



Hepatitis C Basics: like the learn with others option above, this course provides foundation knowledge in hepatitis C (Hep C) for service providers who work with people living with or at risk of Hep C. The course content covers transmission, testing, treatment and health literacy. 4 hours, free.

Hepatitis C Treatment: another self-paced course through CATIE that aims to develop in-depth knowledge on the treatment of hepatitis C for frontline service providers working with clients who have hepatitis C or are at risk for hepatitis C. Through this course, participants will gain information on the benefits of treatment and an overview of what treatment for hepatitis C typically includes.




Hepatitis C moments in history: listen, watch, and read


Listen: Hepatitis C: Hepatiti? Episode 45 of This Podcast Will Kill You
Hepatitis C was named in 1989, and it’s had quite a history.  The two Erins  – Erin Welsh, PhD and Erin Allmann Updyke, PhD – will walk you through the biology of hep C and look at the “often bizarre and disturbing history of blood technology, discussing how a lack of sterilization and screening allowed for the proliferation of the Hepatitis C virus around the world.”


Read a Brief History of Hepatitis C, a timeline from CATIE that follows hepatitis C screening, treatment and advocacy from 1989 to the present.


Canada’s Tainted Blood Scandal

Read: Commission of Inquiry on the Blood System in Canada – the Krever Report

Watch: Watch: Unspeakable is an eight episode TV dramatization of the tragedy in which contaminated blood and blood products infected thousands of Canadian patients with hepatitis C and HIV.

Read: , from the Canadian Medical Association Journal, looks at changes to the blood system as a result of the Krever findings.




Go deeper

“Everybody living with a chronic disease is entitled to be cured”: Challenges and opportunities in scaling up access to direct-acting antiviral hepatitis C virus treatment among people who inject drugs – Trevor Goodyear et al, 2020

Who Are We Missing: Changing the Hep C Cascade of Care for Women/ Stigma Big and Small: Stigma Experiences for Women – Emma Currie, Hermione Jefferis, Jessica Lamb, Cheryl Reitz, Jennifer Westerby, Margo Pearce, July 16, 2020

BC Hepatitis Testers Cohort: The purpose of the BC-HTC is to monitor disease burden related to hepatitis and associated infections and social conditions, evaluate impact of interventions, and monitor hepatitis program progress to inform policy and programming in BC and Canada.

The BC Centre for Disease Control: Hepatitis C information for people in BC, including symptoms, causes, tests, treatments and more.

Canadian Liver Foundation: information and support by phone or online.

World Hepatitis Day: Worldwide, 290 million people are living with viral hepatitis unaware. Without finding the undiagnosed and linking them to care, millions will continue to suffer, and lives will be lost. On World Hepatitis Day, 28 July, we call on people from across the world to take action and raise awareness to find the “missing millions”.


For more information, contact Janet Madsen, [email protected]


We greatly appreciate the vision of our government funders and their ongoing commitment to supporting the work of the PAN. In particular we gratefully acknowledge the Public Health Agency of Canada – HIV and Hepatitis C Community Action Fund. The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of the Public Health Agency of Canada.




Hep C in Focus source image by jplenio on Pixabay
Feet in water image by Pexels on Pixabay.