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Hep C Can be Cured

Hepatitis C can be a short-term illness, but for most people, acute infection leads to chronic infection. Chronic hepatitis C can be a lifelong infection if left untreated. Chronic hepatitis C can cause serious health problems, including liver damage, cirrhosis (scarring of the liver), liver cancer, and even death.

 

Newer therapies have high cure rates of 95% or greater according to clinical studies

*Being cured means the hepatitis C virus is not detectable in your blood months after treatment has ended.

Talking to a healthcare professional is the first step toward diagnosis and treatment.

Doctor and Patient

What is hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C (hep C) is a liver disease caused by the hep C virus. Hep C can arrive in your liver like an uninvited guest and cause inflammation, which can lead to liver damage. Most people with hep C don’t have any symptoms. That means you may have it and not know you have it.

Today, most people become infected with the hepatitis C virus by sharing needles or other equipment used to prepare and inject drugs.

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Key Facts

  • Hepatitis C is a liver infection that if left untreated, can lead to severe liver damage, liver cancer, and death.

  • Hepatitis C cases are increasing in the United States, particularly among young adults.

  • Since hepatitis C often has no symptoms, testing is the only way to know if you are infected.

  • Testing for hepatitis C is the first step towards becoming cured.

  • CDC now recommends all adults and pregnant women get tested for hepatitis C.

  • People with ongoing risk factors should be tested regularly for hepatitis C.

Prevention Tips

  • No vaccine is available for hepatitis C, so the best way to prevent hepatitis C is by avoiding behaviors that can spread the disease.

    • Avoid sharing any equipment used to prepare and inject drugs, steroids, hormones, or other substances.

    • Do not use personal items that may have come into contact with an infected person’s blood, even in amounts too small to see.

    • Do not get tattoos or body piercings from an unlicensed facility or in an informal setting.

  • The best way to prevent the severe outcomes associated with hepatitis C, like liver damage and liver cancer, is to get tested and get lifesaving treatments.

  • For people who are tested and found to be infected with hepatitis C, safe and effective treatments are available that can cure people within 8–12 weeks.

How do my healthcare professional and I decide on treatment?

Your healthcare professional will look at your health history and decide if treatment is right for you. The treatment you receive and the length of treatment may depend on:

  • How much virus is in your body (viral load)

  • Your genotype of hep C

  • Whether you have liver damage

  • Whether or not you’ve been treated previously

Receive Treatment


Ask your healthcare professional about a hep C treatment that could be right for you.

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