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Hepatitis C

What is Hepatitis C?


Hepatitis C is an infection caused by a virus that attacks the liver and leads to inflammation. The virus is spread by contact with contaminated blood, for example, from sharing needles or from unsterile tattoo equipment. Most people have no symptoms. Those who do develop symptoms may have fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, and yellowing of the eyes and skin. Depression is also common.

 

Acute Hepatitis C virus infection is a short-term illness that occurs within the first 6 months after someone is exposed to the Hepatitis C virus. For most people, acute infection leads to chronic infection.

 

Chronic Hepatitis C virus infection is a long-term illness that occurs when the Hepatitis C virus remains in a person’s body. Hepatitis C virus infection can last a lifetime and lead to serious liver problems, including cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) or liver cancer.

 

 

 

How Do People Get Hepatitis C?


Hepatitis C can be contracted several different ways; the most common is through blood, when the blood of a person with hepatitis c enters your own bloodstream. Sharing needles for IV drug use, sharing toothbrushes or razors, or needle stick injuries in a healthcare setting are all ways individuals can contract hepatitis C through their blood.


There is an increased risk for hepatitis C from sexual contact, especially if you have more than one sexual partner, have a sexually transmitted disease (STD), have HIV, or engage in intercourse that's "rough" or could cause bleeding. Condom use is always advised to help prevent the spread of infection.

 

Tattoos and piercings given in unregulated settings by "scratchers", at-home tattoo artists, or in prisons are at risk for contracting hepatitis C. The virus can be spread person to person if the needles and ink caps aren't sterile and if the "artist" doesn't change gloves after touching unsterilized objects.

 

Hepatitis C can also be passed on from mother to child during birth. If a mother is infected, her children have a much higher risk of contracting the virus. Babies CANNOT get hepatitis C through breast milk.

 

 

 

Causes of Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C Genotypes and Recommended Treatment*


*Denotes typical treatment; your doctor will specify the appropriate treatment for you

Genotype 1a and 1b- ledipasvir (90 mg)/sofosbuvir (400 mg)

Genotype 2a, 2b, 2c & 2d - sofosbuvir/ ribavarin, daclatasvir/ sofosbuvir (for patients not able to tolerate ribavarin)

Genotype 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d, 3e & 3f - daclatasvir/ sofosbuvir (without cirrhosis), daclatasvir/ sofosbuvir/ ribavarin (with cirrhosis), sofosbuvir/ ribavarin/ interferon (patients eligible to receive interferon)

Genotype 4a, 4b, 4c, 4d, 4e, 4f, 4g, 4h, 4i & 4j - ledipasvir (90 mg)/sofosbuvir (400 mg)

Genotype 5a - ledipasvir (90 mg)/sofosbuvir (400 mg)

Genotype 6a - ledipasvir (90 mg)/sofosbuvir (400 mg)

 

 

Who's at Risk for Hepatitis C?

 


Hepatitis C is a silent but deadly disease. Over 3.2 million Americans have chronic hepatitis, and every year about 15,000 die from liver disease related to hepatitis C, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "Cirrhosis can progress for many years. Eventually, scar tissue acts like little dams, preventing blood and bile from flowing to and from the liver. The result can be liver failure, meaning the liver can no longer function normally" (Everyday Health).

 

 

Why is Hepatitis C such a big deal?

 


Hepatitis C is a silent but deadly disease. Over 3.5 million Americans have chronic hepatitis, and every year about 15,000 die from liver disease related to hepatitis C, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "Cirrhosis can progress for many years. Eventually, scar tissue acts like little dams, preventing blood and bile from flowing to and from the liver. The result can be liver failure, meaning the liver can no longer function normally" (Everyday Health).

 

Hepatitis C can now be treated at
Phoenix Health Center
Click HERE for more information