31 Facts for the 31 Days of Hepatitis Awareness Month!

In honor of Hepatitis Awareness Month, we have gathered 31 important facts about Hepatitis C, one for each day of the month, to help our community raise awareness about Hepatitis C.

To help spread awareness, please feel free to share, retweet, and/or comment on any or all of these 31 topics!

  1. Hepatitis C (HCV) is a bloodborne virus that causes inflammation and injury to the liver.
  2. Approximately 2.7 million people in the US are living with chronic HCV.
  3. A recent study estimated total health costs associated with HCV for the year 2011 at $6.5 billion.
  4. Treatment for HCV is available and the chances for a cure are good.
  5. Hep C is caused by a virus that is passed along from one individual to another via blood.
  6. Studies have found that up to 50% of people with HCV eventually develop cirrhosis and approximately 1 in 50 people with cirrhosis develop liver cancer.
  7. Risk factors for HCV can include a blood transfusion or solid organ transplant before July 1992.
  8. Injection drug use increases risk of HCV infection by almost 50 times compared with non-injection drug users.
  9. Baby Boomers (people born between 1945 and 1965) risk of HCV is 5 times more than adults born other years.
  10. Tattooing and body piercing is considered low risk at regulated businesses where infection control practices are followed.
  11. HCV testing is recommended for baby boomers with a history of certain risk behaviors, risk exposures, or selected medical conditions.
  12. An estimated 16% to 41% of adult prison inmates test positive for HCV.
  13. An estimated 50% to 90% of injection drug users acquire HCV by sharing needles or other drug paraphernalia.
  14. HCV can be asymptomatic, but the long-term impact is significant and infection eventually develops in about 80% of cases.
  15. The goal of HCV treatment is to cure the infection by removing the virus from the body.
  16. Chronic HCV progression is more rapid in individuals who are co-infected with HIV.
  17. HCV/HIV co-infection also increases risk for development of hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer).
  18. Results from many studies have shown that alcohol intake promotes chronic HCV progression.
  19. The liver is one of the most complex organs in the body, performing over 500 chemical processes.
  20. If HCV is left untreated, liver damage can become irreversible and can lead to liver disease.
  21. HCV accounts for more than 15,000 deaths from liver disease every year.
  22. HCV, which is the cause of about 40% of cases of chronic liver disease, accounts for up to 70% of liver transplants.
  23. Liver transplant is a treatment option for a person who has end-stage liver disease.
  24. Viral load testing is a blood test used to determine the presence and measure the level of HCV in the blood.
  25. Once diagnosed with HCV, your doctor will test to determine the genotype of the virus that you have.
  26. HCV has evolved over time into at least 7 distinct genotypes, with at least 67 subtypes.
  27. The most common genotype in the US and Europe is Genotype 1.
  28. The cornerstone of treatment for chronic HCV infection is antiviral drug therapy.
  29. Common HCV symptoms may include fatigue, flu-like symptoms, muscles aches, nausea and diarrhea and depression.
  30. Fatigue is the most common HCV symptom.
  31. Depression is one of the most common emotional complications associated with HCV.

There’s so much to understand about Hepatitis C beyond what we have in our list, so we hope you will continue to be a part of our community and stay up to date with all things Hep C!