Hepatitis C (HCV)
Hepatitis C is a liver infection caused by the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) (Center for Disease Control, 2015). HCV is transmitted primarily through large or repeated exposures to infected blood through passages in the skin.
Many people think Hepatitis C is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) but it is a blood-borne virus. Most people become infected with the Hepatitis C virus by sharing needles or other equipment to inject drugs. Chronic Hepatitis C is a serious disease than can result in long-term health problems, even death. Symptoms or danger signs may not appear for decades. Unlike Hepatitis A and B, there is no vaccine for Hepatitis C. However, Hepatitis C is CUREABLE!
If you were born between 1945 and 1965 (Baby Boomer) creates a risk factor but not high risk.
Here is a list of factors that have been identified as HIGH RISK:
- Currently or every injected drugs, including those who injected/ intranasal (snort) once or a few times many years ago
- Have received a tattoo or piercing from a non-professional facility
- Household contact with someone who is a known HCV-positive person
- History of high risk sexual behaviors
- History of contracting a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD), even if you were treated
- History of incarceration
- Received clotting factor concentrates before 1987
- Received long-term hemodialysis
- Have HIV infection
- Have Hepatitis B infection
HCV Infection can be detected in the rapid HCV test as early as 4-10 weeks after infection. HCV can be detected in >97% of persons by 6 months after exposure.
Kentucky is #1 in the NATION for Hepatitis C!