Contracted via blood-to-blood contact, hepatitis C is an infection caused by a virus that attacks the liver and leads to inflammation. Many people infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) have no symptoms. In fact, most people do not know they have the hepatitis C infection until liver damage shows up decades later.
Hepatitis C is an infection that continues over many years that can cause significant complications, such as:
- Scarring of the liver tissue (cirrhosis) – After 20-30 years of hepatitis C infection, cirrhosis may occur for portion of patients. Scarring in the liver makes it difficult for the liver to function.
- Liver cancer – A small number of people with hepatitis C infection may develop liver cancer.
- Liver failure – A small number of people my have a liver that is severely damaged by hepatitis C and may be unable to function adequately.
Since many people can have Hepatitis C and not display any symptoms, it’s important to get tested. Talk to us today about getting tested if you:
- Are a current or former drug user who used needles to inject, even if you only did this one time or did it many years ago
- Have a sex partner who has chronic Hepatitis C or have had many sex partners
- Had your blood filtered by a machine (hemodialysis) for a long period of time because your kidneys weren’t working
- Received a blood transfusion or organ transplant from a donor before July 1992
- Received a blood clotting factor to treat a bleeding disorder (like hemophilia) before 1987
- Are a healthcare worker and were exposed to blood through a needle stick or had other contact with blood or bodily fluids
- Have HIV
- Have evidence of liver disease, such as abnormal liver tests
- Were born between 1945 and 1965. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a one-time screening for all baby boomers.
For more information or to make an appointment for testing, call us at (281) 338-2861.