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Hepatitis C Victoria visited school to educate year 11 students
Sunbury Downs College students are helping raise awareness about hepatitis C among young people.
Representatives from Hepatitis C Victoria visited the school last week to educate year 11 students on the infectious disease.
Organising teacher Michelle Nugent said it wasn't about scaring students, but ensuring they knew about prevention and treatments.
"There are 10,000 new cases each year, and with things like piercings and tattoos they need to be aware. They learnt about how it's contracted, where to go for help and the importance of annual health checks. A lot of people trace their family tree but not their medical history."
Students are taking part in a competition run by Hepatitis C Victoria called Street Shot.
Street Shot is a health promotion initiative using photography as a medium to educate young people about hepatitis C-related issues.
As part if the initiative, students will be required to take photos to reflect the issues related to hepatitis C and submit a short essay explaining their entry.
Individuals and teams from across Victoria can enter and the competition winner could receive up to $1000.
"It's not meant to be scare tactics but awareness, even if you have it it's not a death sentence. It's about finding out about your health," Ms Nugent said.
Last year, Sunbury Downs College was the only public school in Victoria to take part in the competition. It received second and third prizes.
On average, about 25 per cent of people who contract hepatitis C will clear the virus naturally within the first 12 months. For the remaining 75 per cent of people, the virus is not eliminated and likely remain in their body for the rest of their lives. It's estimated about 74,200 Victorians have been infected with the hepatitis C virus.