What is Hepatitis C?

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Hepatitis C can be a huge risk to your overall health. It can lead to serious health concerns including liver damage, cirrhosis and even cancer of the liver. Many people can go many years living with hepatitis C and not show symptoms of the illness. This is why testing for hepatitis is so important. Often people will not know they are infected without having been tested. Let’s take a look at some details about hepatitis C.

Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus. This virus can also be transmitted through sharing needles or other equipment used to inject drugs. For some people hepatitis C is a short term illness, however in many people it becomes a long-term infection. Hepatitis C is a serious illness that can result in long term health problems and even death. There is no vaccine for hepatitis C. New drugs are improving the way hepatitis C is treated and can lead to a cure. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believe that the majority of people infected are unaware of their infection because they may not be showing any signs of illness.

Certain people are more adversely affected by hepatitis C. Baby boomers have higher rates of hepatitis C but the reasons for this are not fully known. Most baby boomers are believed to have been infected between the 1950s and 1980s. This was a time when transmission of the infection was most common. Hepatitis C is spread through the contact of blood from an infected person. As the opioid epidemic has been growing throughout the United States, more and more people are finding themselves infected with hepatitis as well.

If you are concerned that you may be experiencing symptoms of hepatitis, or may have been exposed to the virus, you should seek medical care. Since some of these viruses can be transmitted sexually having STD testing performed can help you to know the current status of your sexual health.

 

Sources:
1 Hepatitis C: Why Baby Boomers Should Get Tested
2 Why are Baby Boomers More Likely to get Hepatitis C?
3 Why Baby Boomers Need a Hep C Screening

Article by Robert Francis Curtis

Robert studied at Columbia College Chicago. He has worked as a Care Adviser here at Analyte Health for a while and looks forward to spreading more information about sexual health.