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Hepatitis C

Are you hip to Hepatitis C?

Through its Wellness Center, MAO provides Hepatitis C testing, and for insured patients actual treatment, at locations in Montgomery and Dothan, Alabama. For further information or to schedule an appointment contact MAO’s Hepatitis C Prevention Coordinator, Bretia Gordon, MPA, at (334) 280-3349. If you would like to learn even more about Hepatitis C, consider exploring the Hep 101 Page attached to this site.

What is Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver.  It is also the name of viral infections that affect the liver.  Hepatitis C is a contagious liver disease that can range in severity from a mild illness to a serious lifelong illness that attacks the liver.  Acute Hepatitis C virus is a short-term illness that occurs within the first 6 months after someone is exposed to the virus.  For most people, it leads to chronic infection. This infection is a long-term illness that occurs when the virus remains in a person’s body.  It can last a lifetime and lead to cirrhosis or liver cancer.

How is Hepatitis C spread?

It is usually spread when blood from an infected person enters the body of an uninfected person.  The most common means of transmission is through sharing needles or other equipment to inject drugs.  It can also be spread if you were born to an infected mother; sharing personal care items like razors, toothbrushes, etc.; or sexual contact.   It can also be spread when blood that contains the virus is on a surface and is touched by another person who is not infected; or when a person touches and contaminates something while the blood is on their fingers or hands.

Who is mostly at risk for Hepatitis C?

  • Current or former Injection drug users
  • Recipients of blood transfusions
  • People who have received tattoos from non-sterile instruments
  • HIV-infected persons
  • Children born to mothers with Hepatitis C
  • Baby boomers born between 1945-1965
  • Sharing personal care items such as razors, toothbrushes, etc. (Anything in contact with blood)
  • Sexual contact

What are the symptoms of Hepatitis C?

  • Fever
  • Fatigue  (Feeling tired)
  • Dark urine
  • Grey-colored stool
  • Joint pain
  • Jaundice (Yellow skin and eyes)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain

Who should get tested for Hepatitis C?

  • Current or former Injection drug users
  • Recipients of blood transfusions
  • People who have received tattoos from non-sterile instruments
  • HIV-infected persons
  • Children born to mothers with Hepatitis C
  • Baby boomers born between 1945-1965
  • Sharing personal care items such as razors, toothbrushes, etc. (Anything in contact with blood)
  • Sexual contact
  • You have an abnormal liver test or liver disease
  • You received a blood transfusion or organ transplant before July 1992.
  • You have been exposed to blood through a needle stick or other sharp object injury.

Tests

Several different blood tests are used to test Hepatitis C. Testing at MAO involves a finger prick, and results are ready in about 20 minutes.

Can Hepatitis C be treated?

Yes.  New and improved treatments are available that can cure Hepatitis C for most people. However, treatment depends on many different factors, so it is important to talk to a doctor about options.

Addition information sources you may wish to explore…

Other videos

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FF5WvJq1Z0k

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRr_cilgfEk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJrt45wCw50

Resources

http://hepc.liverfoundation.org/

http://hcvadvocate.org/

http://www.adph.org/hepatitis/index.asp?id=6097

http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hcv/cfaq.htm

MAO is a Community Partner of the Alabama Coalition for Testing, Interventions and Engagement in Hepatitis C Care (ACTIVE-C) project with the University of Alabama at Birmingham.