People are under the impression that this is part of your routine tests. it is not. You must request it.
Four to five million Americans have Hepatitis C. Hepatitis C is often asymptomatic. That means that many people
don't feel at all ill, even after years of Hepatitis C infection. If symptoms do appear, they
are often very mild and general complaints, like tiredness or a bit of nausea.
These symptoms can easily be attributed to lack or sleep, mild flu, or just
getting older. Unfortunately, this lack of symptoms doesn't mean Hepatitis C is
harmelss. Infection may be damaging the liver long before any symptoms emerge.
Once they do emerge, the liver may be damaged beyond repair. It is the leading cause for Liver cancer and
can lead to the need of a Liver transplant.
Many people of the Baby Boom generation have Hepatitis C and don't know it. Because the liver is a
"non-complaining" organ, these people don't know they have a serious infection.
Many Boomers contracted the disease through blood transfusions or other medical
procedures before the virus was identified, and the blood supply and other
medical products were protected in the early 1990s. Some were infected through
youthful experimentation with drugs.
Many people have been infected with Hepatitis C through injecting drugs.(Even once).
It can be spread by sharing needles or anything else with blood in or on it(spoons,bottle caps,cotton, ties,water).
It can be spread through tattooing and piercing. Other possible routes of infection are
described on our website's Hepatitis C Facts and Statistics page, above.
Whatever your situation, ask your doctor...or go to a
clinic...for a test to learn your status. Hepatitis C can be cured. Treatment
is better than ever. But you can only be treated and cured if you know your
status. Get tested now!