Three people standing together, the person in the middle thinking while the person on either side of him are whispering into his ears.

Common Myths & Questions About Hepatitis C: Get the Facts

It’s important to know the facts about hepatitis C and not believe widespread myths. Myths about hepatitis C can be life-threatening. Be proactive with your health while helping others learn the facts about hepatitis C.

Myth: "The only way to get hepatitis C is by drug use"

Fact: Drug use is only one way hepatitis C is transmitted. Hepatitis C is transmitted when blood from an infected person comes in contact with someone who has an open wound, sore, or cut.

Myth: "Hepatitis C is highly contagious. You can catch it from hugging/kissing someone." Fact: You cannot contract hepatitis C from hugging, kissing, touching, coughing, sneezing, or eating food that is prepared by someone with hepatitis C.Myth: "There is no cure."Fact: Hepatitis C is highly curable. Today's improved hepatitis C treatments now have 90-99% cure rates.Myth: "Treatment for hepatitis C is severe."Fact: Today's treatments are much improved from those used in years past. Today, they are highly effective, and usually very tolerable.Myth: "I get annual blood tests, so I've been tested for hepatitis C."Fact: The majority of physicians do not include hepatitis C testing in their annual wellness blood work. Unless you request the test or your physician orders it specifically, you are not tested for hepatitis C.Myth: "If you have hepatitis C, you’ll have obvious symptoms."Fact: Hepatitis C is known as the ‘silent disease’ because many symptoms do not occur until liver damage is already present.Myth: "You don’t need to be tested unless you’re a Baby Boomer or have risk factors."Fact: Many people of all ages can contract hepatitis C. It’s not safe to assume you don’t have hepatitis C. Be proactive, get tested.Myth: "There’s a vaccine for hepatitis C."Fact: There is no vaccine for hepatitis C. There is a vaccine for hepatitis A and B.Myth: "You don’t need treatment for hepatitis C."Fact: A small percentage of people can clear the virus without treatment who are in the acute phase (having hepatitis C for less than 6 months), but 75% have chronic hepatitis C and need medical treatment in order to clear the virus. You cannot cure hepatitis C with supplements or herbal treatments.Myth: "Hepatitis C only affects the liver."Fact: Hepatitis C can also affect other organs like the kidneys, joints, and other parts of the body. Hepatic manifestations are common.Myth: "There’s no financial help for hepatitis C treatment."Fact: If you do not have medical insurance or need help with co-pays, there are patient assistant programs you can apply to help cover treatment costs.Myth: "You don’t need to see a liver specialist."Fact: In most cases, it is best to see a physician who specializes in liver disease like a gastroenterologist or hepatologist. These physicians have studied liver disease, along with knowledge of all current treatment.Myth: "If you’ve been cured of hepatitis C, you’re immune from getting it again."Fact: Even if you've already had hepatitis C and been cured, you can still contract it again.Myth: "Hepatitis C treatment cures the virus and all liver damage."Fact: Improved treatment can eliminate the hepatitis C virus, but it cannot cure severe liver damage like cirrhosis. It’s important to discuss your liver condition with your physician and be monitored regularly if you have cirrhosis.Learn the risk factors and how to prevent transmission. Don’t assume you don’t have hepatitis C. Be proactive. Get tested, seek treatment, and get cured.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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