Should you be screened for hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C is a liver infection caused by a virus and spread by blood contact. Chronic hepatitis C infection may lead to long-term health problems including liver damage, liver scarring (cirrhosis), liver cancer or even death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hepatitis C affects about 3.5 million people in the U.S. About half of those infected don’t know they have it because they may not have symptoms. This is why screening for hepatitis C is so important.
The CDC recommends being tested if you:
- Are an adult born between 1945 through 1965.
- Received a blood transfusion or organ transplant before July 1992.
- Have a history of exposures to HCV-positive blood through a needle stick or mucosal exposure.
If you belong to any of these groups being recommended for testing, please talk to your doctor today. For a complete list of recommendations, please visit the CDC website.
Hepatitis C treatment has come a long way in recent years, and there are now successful oral treatment options that can cure hepatitis C in as little as eight to 12 weeks.