How is it transmitted?
Anyone can get HCV, but high-risk people are those who:
- Inject or have injected drugs and share needles or equipment
- Were born to a mother with HCV
- Had a blood transfusion or organ transplant before July 1992
- Have hemophilia and received clotting factor before 1987
- Are in contact with blood or infected needles at work
- Are on kidney dialysis
- Are infected with HIV
- Have had tattoos or body piercings
- Have had more than one sex partner in the last six months or have a history of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
How can it be prevented?
There is no vaccine for Hepatitis C, but there are ways to make infection much less likely. Here are a few:
- Do not share objects that might contain blood. Household items like razors, toothbrushes, and lancets are included.
- Do not inject steroids or drugs. If you are currently using, seek treatment. Visit com. Never share needles.
- Use condoms during sex.
- Weigh the risks of getting tattoos and piercings. If you decide to get one, make sure the artist or piercer is reputable and uses safe health practices.
- Do not donate blood or organs if you are HCV infected.
How can it be treated?
Antiviral medicines have allowed cured patients from HCV infection. Treatment differs by type and stage of liver disease. Treatment ranges from 12 – 24 weeks. There are many medications available to treat chronic HCV. It is important for you to see a health care provider who has an expertise in Hepatitis C virus. They can help you decide which medication is best for you. That will depend on the type of HCV you have, if you have ever gotten treatment before, and how long you have had HCV. Treatment can cure the disease with minimal side effects.
It is important to take care of yourself. Get tested for each type of hepatitis. Get vaccinated for hepatitis A and B virus. Use the treatment locator to find vaccinations, testing, and treatment. Search by resource type to find a low-cost health care provider near you. There are many options including:
- Private health care providers
- Private health and hospital systems
- Division of Public Health (DPH) clinics
- Federally qualified health centers (FQHCs)
- CAMP Rehoboth
- Delaware HIV Consortium
- HIV Community Program at Wilmington Hospital Annex
If you have hepatitis C, be sure to see someone who specializes in that illness.