Hepatitis C frequently asked questions
What is hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C (also known as hep c or HCV) is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Hepatitis C is spread through contact with blood from an infected person.
How do you get hepatitis C?
Today, most people become infected with the hepatitis C virus by sharing needles or other equipment used to prepare and inject drugs.
Who should be tested for hepatitis C regularly?
The CDC recommends everyone get tested for hepatitis C at least once. People who have ever injected drugs and shared needles, syringes or other drug preparation equipment, including those who injected once or a few times many years ago should be tested annually. For a full list, please visit CDC’s website.
What happens when you get hepatitis C?
For some people, hepatitis C is a short-term illness, but for more than half of people who become infected with the hepatitis C virus, it becomes a long-term, chronic infection. Chronic hepatitis C can result in serious, even life-threatening health problems like cirrhosis and liver cancer.
Is there a treatment for hepatitis C?
Yes! Treatment is simple and most people can be cured in 8-12 weeks.
How do I protect myself against hepatitis C?
The best way to prevent hepatitis C is to avoid sharing all equipment used to inject or snort substances, personal hygiene products, and/or equipment used for tattoos and piercings that can have blood of other individuals on it.