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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!