I don’t know how I got hep c. I may have had since I was 18. I’m. 67 and they just discovered. Is this common?
It's actually not uncommon for individuals to live with Hepatitis C for years (even decades!) and not know it. Especially after the initial infection period, where you may experience some symptoms, up to 80% of infected individuals experience *no* symptoms. And, according to the CDC, 4 in 10 people with Hepatitis C don't even know they have it. That's a pretty high ratio! And, especially for individuals between the ages of 55-70, most medical organizations are recommending testing. Before we had adequate testing/screening, people could be infected via blood transfusion, among other things. So, there is no shame, and frankly, there should be no stigma surrounding this condition. Whether a person got it from a blood transfusion, poorly cleaned tattoo needles or medical equipment (none of these should be the case anymore, one hopes), sexual or drug activity; what matters now is getting the treatment needed to manage the disease.
So, you are not alone in this. Have you been experiencing symptoms that led you to get tested, or was this found during routine bloodwork? Please don't feel like you have to answer; I was just curious if you have been experiencing symptoms.
Also, if your doctor recommending a treatment regimen for you?
Keep us posted, and feel free to reach out if you have further questions.
Best, Erin, HepatitisC.net Team Member.
I had a substitute doc from my usual doc’s practice. He spotted in on bloodwork and mentioned it as if I must know it. No one mentioned it in as much as 50 yrs. I’m amazed by that! I did have symptoms (fatigue, muscle pain, foggy brain, etc.) but no one suggested it should be checked. When I look at statistics, it makes me think about how serious it is, and how I would think they would be sounding the alarm more!
I am so sorry you are in this position now and I hope treatment is an option for you.
Best, Erin, HepatitisC.net Team Member
Unfortunately, it is quite common for people not to know how they contracted hep C, as the virus can be silently present for many years before any symptoms appear. But still, the good news is that there are effective treatments available now, and with proper medical care, many people are able to manage their hepatitis C successfully. There are all kinds of medicine available online at sites like https://www.pillpal.to/anti-hepatitis-1789/hepatitis-c as well. So keep hope, and reach out to your healthcare provider for support and guidance.
This may be a common theme. However, there are people who do know how they contracted Hepatitis C, such as myself. I willingly contracted Hepatitis C from an organ donor to save my life. I received a Hep C donor’s heart from a 29 year old drug addict and I received treatment to cure Hep C directly after I woke up from my heart transplant 4 years ago. Hope you are doing well and thank you for sharing. Leslie (Community Moderator)