Hepatitis C

What is Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is an infection that affects the liver. Hepatitis C can cause a chronic condition, which can lead to chronic liver disease. It is caused by the Hepatitis C virus (HCV), which is found in blood. Unlike Hepatitis A and B, there is no vaccine for Hepatitis C. The only way to prevent Hepatitis C is to avoid contact with infected blood.

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How does someone get infected with Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is spread by direct contact with human blood. For example, the following behaviors put people at risk for Hepatitis C:

If you or anyone you know has engaged in any of these behaviors, ask your health care provider whether Hepatitis C testing is right for you.

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Who should get tested for Hepatitis C?


Testing Recommendations Based on Risk of Infection
Persons
Risk of Infection
Testing Recommended
Injecting drug users
High
Yes
Recipients of clotting factors made before 1987
High
Yes
Hemodialysis patients
Intermediate
Yes
Recipients of blood and/or solid organs before 1992
Intermediate
Yes
People with undiagnosed liver problems

Intermediate
Yes
Infants born to infected mothers
Intermediate
After 12-18 mos. old
Healthcare/public safety workers
Low
Only after known exposure
People having sex with multiple partners
Low
No*
People having sex with an infected steady partner
Low
No*

*Anyone who wants to get tested should ask their doctor. HCV can be tested through a blood test done by your health care provider.

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How can Hepatitis C be prevented?

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What if I have Hepatitis C?

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Resources

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Contact Us

Daniel J. Daltry
HIV, STD, Viral Hepatitis Program Chief
Vermont Department of Health
108 Cherry Street
PO Box 70
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 863-7305

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