(HCV; Hep C)
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- Injecting illicit drugs, especially with shared needles
- Receiving a blood transfusion before 1992—this risk is low in the United States
- Receiving blood clotting products before 1987
- Receiving an HCV-infected organ transplant
- Long-term kidney dialysis treatment
- Sharing toothbrushes, razors, nail clippers, or other personal hygiene items that have HCV-infected blood on them
- Being accidentally stuck by an HCV-infected needle—a concern for healthcare workers
- Frequent contact with HCV-infected people—a concern for healthcare workers
- Body piercing
- Having sex with partners who have hepatitis C or other sexually transmitted diseases
- Loss of appetite
- Yellowing of the eyes and skin
- Darker colored urine
- Loose, light, or chalky colored stools
- Abdominal pain
- Aches and pains
- Joint pain
- Cigarette smokers may suddenly dislike the taste of cigarettes
- Severe fatigue
- Loss of appetite
- Blood tests
- Liver biopsy—tissue is examined under a microscope
- Medication to boost the immune system
- Antiviral medications
- Do not inject illegal drugs. Shared needles have the highest risk. Seek help to stop using drugs .
- Do not have sex with partners who have sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
- Practice safe sex (using latex condoms) or abstain from sex.
- Limit your number of sexual partners.
Do not share personal items that might have blood on them, such as:
- Manicuring tools
- Pierced earrings
- Avoid handling items that may be contaminated by HCV-infected blood.
- Donate your own blood before elective surgery to be used if you need a blood transfusion.
- Go to regular check ups and get tested for hepatitis C and other STDs as advised.
American Liver Foundation http://www.liverfoundation.org
Hepatitis Foundation International http://www.hepfi.org
Canadian Liver Foundation http://www.liver.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
2015 Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/std/tg2015/default.htm. Updated October 6, 2015. Accessed October 8, 2015.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Sexual transmission of hepatitis C virus among HIV-infected men who have sex with men—New York City, 2005-2010. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2011;60(28):945-950.
Chang MH, Gordon LA, Fung HB. Boceprevir: A protease inhibitor for the treatment of hepatitis C. Clin Ther. 2012;34(10):2021-2138.
Explore blood transfusion? National Heart Lung and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/bt. Updated January 30, 2012. Accessed October 8, 2015.
Hepatitis C. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated July 6, 2015. Accessed October 8, 2015.
Viral hepatitis—hepatitis C information. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hcv/index.htm. Updated May 31, 2015. Accessed October 8, 2015.
What I need to know about hepatitis C. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/liver-disease/hepatitis-c/Pages/ez.aspx. Updated December 19, 2012. Accessed October 8, 2014.
12/9/2013 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: US Food & Drug Administration. FDA news release: FDA approves new treatment for hepatitis C virus. Food & Drug Administration website. Accessed October 8, 2015.
4/29/2014 12/9/2013 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases/Infectious Diseases Society of America (AASLD/IDSA) recommendations on testing, managing, and treating hepatitis C. Available at: http://www.hcvguidelines.org/fullreport. Accessed October 8, 2015.
10/8/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: British Association of Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) recommendations on testing for sexually transmitted infections in men who have sex with men. Available at: http://www.bashh.org/documents/BASHH%20Recommendations%20for%20testing%20for%20STIs%20in%20MSM%20-%20FINAL.pdf. Accessed October 8, 2015.
- Reviewer: Daus Mahnke, MD
- Review Date: 08/2015 -
- Update Date: 10/08/2015 -