Hepatitis C

Keep Calm and Get Tested

What is it and how do you get it?

 Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is the most common chronic blood borne infection in the United States. Although HCV is not efficiently transmitted sexually, persons at risk for infection through injection drug use and anyone who had a blood transfusion or organ transplant before July 1992;anyone who has ever been on long-term kidney dialysis; anyone who received clotting factors made before 1987;anyone who has ever (even once) injected illegal drugs; anyone who has undiagnosed liver problems; infants born to HCV-infected mothers.

How do you know you have it?

There are common and less common symptoms the common symptoms include: Fatigue, nausea, joint or muscular pain, loss of appetite fever, and yellowing of the skin.  Less common symptoms include: diarrhea, dark-yellow urine, stomach pain, and itchy skin

What happens if it is left untreated?

Unless successfully treated with medications, chronic Hepatitis C infection can cause other serious health problems, such as: Cirrhosis, Liver Cancer, and Liver Failure. If left untreated, Hepatitis C is life threatening. Treatment options are available, speak to your healthcare provider today.

How do you treat it and/or cure it?

There is no vaccine against hepatitis C. A person who tests positive for HCV infection should see a doctor to assess liver damage and determine whether medical management and antiviral therapy would be helpful. It is very important for a person with liver damage to avoid alcohol, to discuss medications (e.g., over-the-counter, herbal treatments, and prescription drugs) with a physician, and to see a physician regularly.

How many people get it each year?

130–150 million people globally have chronic hepatitis C infection. A significant number of those who are chronically infected will develop liver cirrhosis or liver cancer and 350, 000 to 500, 000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver diseases.