Back Hepatitis C is a disease of the liver caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). You may be at risk for hepatitis C and should contact your medical care provider for a blood test if you:
What is hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV), which is found in the blood of persons who have this disease. The infection is spread by contact with the blood of an infected person.
How serious is hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C is serious for some persons, but not for others. Most persons who get hepatitis C carry the virus for the rest of their lives. Most of these persons have some liver damage but many do not feel sick from the disease. Some persons with liver damage due to hepatitis C may develop cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver and liver failure which may take many years to develop. Others have no long term effects.
What can I do now that my hepatitis C test is positive?
Contact your doctor. Additional tests may be needed to check your diagnosis and to see if you have liver damage.
What if I don't feel sick?
Many persons with long-term hepatitis C have no symptoms and feel well, but should still see their doctor. For some persons, the most common symptom is extreme tiredness.
How can I take care of my liver?
Is there a treatment for hepatitis C?
Drugs are licensed for the treatment of persons with long-term hepatitis C. About 2-3 out of every 10 patients who are treated get rid of the virus. You should check with your doctor to see if treatment may help you.
How could I have gotten hepatitis C?
HCV is spread primarily by exposure to human blood. You may have gotten hepatitis C if:
How can I prevent spreading HCV to others?
What if I am pregnant?
Five out of every 100 infants born to HCV infected women become infected. This occurs at the time of birth, and there is no treatment that can prevent this from happening. However, infants infected with HCV at the time of birth seem to do very well in the first few years of life. More studies are needed to find out if these infants will have problems from the infection as they grow older
Hepatitis C is NOT spread by:
If you use or inject street drugs:
If you are having sex, but not with one steady partner:
There is no vaccine available to prevent hepatitis C
A person who has hepatitis
C can still get other types of viral hepatitis, such as hepatitis A or