Hepatitis is the leading cause of liver transplants in Canada, but many who have it might not even know.

To mark World Hepatitis Day, the Windsor Essex Community Health Centre teamed up with the Downtown Mission to hold an information barbecue.

World Hepatitis Day, Downtown Mission

Ryan Charbonneau gets a hepatitis test from Jeremy Wigfield, a Street Help nurse during a World Hepatitis Day event at the Downtown Mission Thursday. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

High-risk people include injection drug users, the homeless, the Indigenous population and people who have been or are in prison, but anyone can be infected, according to Tamara Bechard from the health centre.

"It's largely asymptomatic for up to 20 years," she explained. "So the only way to know is to have two tests — the simple anti-body test is going to say whether or not you've been exposed and then you're going to need a follow up test which is an RNA test ... to determine whether or not you actually have the hepatitis C virus."

Testing is free, so Bechard encouraged people to visit their doctor, the health unit or the community health centre.