31 Facts for the 31 Days of Hepatitis Awareness Month!
In honor of Hepatitis C Awareness Month, we have gathered 31 important facts about hepatitis C, one for each day of the month, to help raise awareness, and correct misinformation.
To help us to spread awareness, please feel free to share, retweet, and/or comment on any of these 31 facts! If you have questions about hepatitis C, you can also check-out our resources below!
- Over 3 million people in the US are living with chronic HCV, also known as hepatitis C, or “hep C”.
- Hepatitis C is caused by a virus that is passed along (“transmitted”) from person-to-person via infected blood.
- The hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a bloodborne virus that causes inflammation and injury to the liver.
- The liver is one of the most complex organs in the body, performing over 500 chemical processes.
- Common HCV symptoms include fatigue, flu-like symptoms, muscles aches, nausea and diarrhea, and depression.
- HCV testing is recommended for many people, including Baby Boomers, individuals with a history of certain risk behaviors, people with certain risk exposures (such as healthcare workers), veterans, and those with select medical conditions.
- Injection drug use increases a person’s risk of HCV infection by almost 50 times (compared with non-injection drug users).
- For Baby Boomers (people born between 1945 and 1965), the risk of hepatitis C is 5 times more than adults born other years.
- Veterans are almost twice as likely as non-veterans to be diagnosed with hepatitis C.
- One risk factor for hepatitis C infection is having received a blood transfusion or solid organ transplant before July 1992.
- At regulated businesses where infection control practices are followed, tattooing and body piercing are considered low-risk for HCV transmission.
- Approximately 6 in 10 people know how they contracted the hepatitis C virus.
- Hepatitis C can be cured!
- Today, most hepatitis C treatments have cure rates of 99% or higher.
- The goal of hepatitis C treatment is to cure the infection by removing the virus from the body.
- Direct-acting antivirals are the gold standard for the treatment of chronic HCV infection.
- Viral load testing is a blood test used to determine the presence and amount of HCV in the blood.
- HCV has evolved over time into at least 7 distinct genotypes, with at least 67 subtypes.
- Genotype testing is an important part of testing and treating hepatitis C.
- The most common genotype in the US and Europe is Genotype 1.
- HCV can be asymptomatic, but 80% of people infected with HCV will develop chronic hepatitis C.
- Around 50% of people with hepatitis C will develop cirrhosis. Cirrhosis can lead to many complications, including liver cancer.
- HCV/HIV co-infection increases a person’s risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer).
- If hepatitis C is left untreated, liver damage can become irreversible and can lead to advanced liver disease.
- Hepatitis C accounts for more than 15,000 deaths from liver disease every year.
- Hepatitis C accounts for up to 70% of liver transplants.
- Chronic HCV progression is more rapid in individuals who are also infected (aka co-infected) with HIV.
- Drinking alcohol can promote the progression of liver disease.
- Many people with hepatitis C do not know that they are HCV-positive.
- Fatigue is the most common hepatitis C symptom.
- Depression and anxiety are two of the most common mental health complications associated with hepatitis C.
There’s so much to understand about hepatitis C, so we hope you will continue to be a part of our community and stay up-to-date with all things hep C!
Still have questions? Check-out these resources:
- Frequently asked questions about hepatitis C
- Common questions (and answers) from the hepatitis C community
- How to talk anonymously
- Ask a question