Frequently Asked Questions About Hepatitis C

What is Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is a serious liver infection caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The virus is passed from person to person through blood, semen or other body fluids. It does not spread by sneezing or coughing. The most common in the U.S. is type 1. None is more serious than any other, but they respond differently to treatment.

How is it transmitted

The most prevalent mode of transmission is through vaginal sex, oral or anal sex or through sharing sex toys with infected persons. It can be transmitted through both heterosexual and homosexual contact.

What are the symptoms

Long-term infection with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) is known as chronic hepatitis C. Chronic hepatitis C is usually a "silent" infection for many years, until the virus damages the liver enough to cause the signs and symptoms of liver disease. Among these signs and symptoms are:

  • Bleeding easily

  • Bruising easily

  • Fatigue

  • Poor appetite

  • Yellow discoloration of the skin and eyes (jaundice)

  • Dark-colored urine

  • Itchy skin

  • Fluid buildup in your abdomen (ascites)

  • Swelling in your legs

  • Weight loss

  • Confusion, drowsiness and slurred speech (hepatic encephalopathy)

  • Spider-like blood vessels on your skin (spider angiomas)

How is it treated

No cure has been found for acute hepatitis yet. However, treatment is done to reduce the amount of the virus in a patient’s body and relieve the inflammation that produces the symptoms. People with chronic hepatitis B may be given antiviral drugs. 

How can I prevent

Just like other infectious diseases, the only sure way to prevent Gonorrhea is by avoiding sexual contact with infected persons.

One can, however, reduce the risk of infection by:

  • Use of male or female condoms during any act of sexual encounter.

  • Avoiding sharing of sex toys.

  • Performing safe oral sex by use of a dental dam.

What to do if diagnosed

If you are in doubt with your sex partner, and you suspect you have Hepatitis, it's important to visit a health clinic to have the test performed on you. The severity of the diseases is usually lower when the symptoms are treated at an early stage.

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