What Is Hep C?
Hep C is a serious disease caused by a virus that is spread through blood-to-blood contact. In recent years, there have been more deaths related to Hep C than to HIV.
You May Not Feel Sick
Yellow skin and eyes (jaundice)
Who Has Hep C?
If you’ve been diagnosed with Hep C, you’re not alone. An estimated 2.4 million people are living with Hep C in the United States. And over 1 million people have already been treated.
Anyone can get Hep C, yet many people don’t even know they have it because they show no symptoms.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends that all adults ages 18 and over get tested for Hep C.
How Hep C Is Spread
There are many ways Hep C can be spread, including:
Using drugs that involve needles or straws
Using unsterilized tattoo equipment
Having sex with a person infected with Hep C
Sharing personal items such as razors or toothbrushes
Receiving needlestick injuries in healthcare settings
Receiving a blood transfusion or organ transplant before 1992
Being born to a mother with Hep C
Why the Liver Is Important
Your liver is like a filter with a very important role in your health.
The liver keeps the nutrients your body needs and gets rid of the toxins it doesn’t.
Hep C attacks the liver and, over time, affects how well it does its job.
You can live with Hep C for years without knowing it, but the damage is still happening and can even lead to death.
Hep C is a major cause of liver transplants and liver cancer. However, treating your Hep C could help put a stop to the damage.
The longer you wait to treat Hep C, the more it can harm your liver.
Liver with Some Damage
Advanced Liver Damage
Unsterilized: Not completely clean.