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Nearly a third of all injection drug users (IDUs) under the age of 30 are infected with HCV. Almost 90 percent of older adults who are injecting and/or shared needles before 1980 have the disease.
Yes – a prior HCV infection does not protect you against the same or different genotype of the virus.
While you can get the virus by having sexual intercourse with an infected person, the risk is thought to be low. Sexually transmitted hepatitis C infection is higher in:
- People with an HIV infection
- Men having sex with men
- Anal-receptive intercourse
In room temperature, the hepatitis C virus can survive up to four days.
Nearly 50 to 90 percent of people with HIV who use injected drugs also have hepatitis C.
Yes – it is recommended that people who have HCV be vaccinated against the flu, as influenza can increase your risk of complications.
Transmission of hepatitis C within a household is extremely rare. Reduce your risk by avoiding using their razor, toothbrush, etc.
The risk of an infected mother transmitting hepatitis C to their newborn is approximately five percent. Antiviral medications can damage a baby in the womb and cause serious birth defects. So if you are planning to get pregnant, you should discuss this with a doctor.
During a biopsy a tiny piece of your liver is removed and examined to determine the degree of damage in the liver. A local anesthetic and small needle are used. If it has been more than five years since your last biopsy and you want to know if your liver disease has progressed, your doctor may suggest performing another one.
While hepatitis C isn’t a digestive disease, it’s good to eat healthy (even if you have a healthy liver). You should always avoid eating too much processed sugar, salt and fat.
Alcohol on top of hepatitis C can exacerbate inflammation and scarring of the liver. Drinking alcohol is not recommended.
NOTE: If you are waiting for a transplant, have severe cirrhosis, or currently taking medications, you cannot drink alcohol.