Hepatitis C Treatment
What is Hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV), resulting in liver inflammation. There are multiple types of hepatitis. For some people, HCV is a short-term illness, but more than half of people who are infected with HCV, it becomes a long-term chronic infection. Chronic HCV can result in serious, life-threatening health problems like liver cancer and hardening of the liver (cirrhosis). People with chronic HCV normally do not have symptoms and will often not feel sick, and thus do not seek immediate treatment. When symptoms do appear, the liver is already severely damaged.
How is Hepatitis C contracted?
- HCV is spread through contact with blood from an infected person.
- Today, most people become infected with HCV by sharing needles or other equipment used to prepare and inject drugs.
- Some other methods of infection can be through sharing razors/shaving equipment, sharing toothbrushes, and sexual activities such as vaginal and anal sexual intercourse.
Is there a vaccine for Hepatitis C?
There is no vaccine for HCV at this time. However, there are vaccines available against Hepatitis A and B. The best way to prevent the spread of HVC is knowing your status by getting tested, completing treatment if you have active HCV, and continuing to practice harm reduction methods to prevent future re-infections.
DAA (direct-acting antiretrovirals) is known as medication used specifically to treat HCV infection. There are many DAAs that can be used to treat HCV. Different antivirals will target HCV using different mechanisms.