HEPATITIS C
February 2, 2022

Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Hepatitis C is spread through contact with blood from an infected person. Today, most people become infected with the virus by sharing needles or other equipment used to prepare and inject drugs.

Hepatitis C can be acute or chronic:

  • Acute hepatitis C is a short-term infection. The symptoms can last up to 6 months. Sometimes your body is able to fight off the infection and the virus goes away. But for most people, an acute infection leads to chronic infection.
  • Chronic hepatitis C is a long-lasting infection. If it is not treated, it can last for a lifetime and cause serious health problems, including liver damage, cirrhosis (scarring of the liver), liver cancer, and even death.

Symptoms

The acute symptoms are very similar to other viral infections.

Who is at risk ?

Can be prevented?

There is no vaccine. But you can help protect yourself from hepatitis C infection by:

  • Not sharing drug needles or other drug materials
  • Wearing gloves if you have to touch another person’s blood or open sores
  • Making sure your tattoo artist or body piercer uses sterile tools and unopened ink
  • Not sharing personal items such toothbrushes, razors, or nail clippers
  • Using a latex condom during sex. If your or your partner is allergic to latex, you can use polyurethane condoms.

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