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How Can Someone Contract Hepatitis C

The Types Of Viral Hepatitis

How Do You Catch Hepatitis C?

There are five main types of viral hepatitis known as hepatitis A , hepatitis B , hepatitis C , hepatitis D , and hepatitis E . That said, there have been cases of acute hepatitis that could not be attributed to one of these five types of hepatitis viruses, alcohol, drugs, or autoimmune disease, which lead researchers to try to find another cause.

Though the etiology of these viruses have not yet been fully established, researchers have identified three other types of viral hepatitis , which they have named hepatitis F , hepatitis G , and transfusions transmitted virus . As relatively new diseases and viral discoveries, information about them and how they work is relatively scarce. We do know, however, that cases of TTV have only been associated with hepatitis in people who have had a blood transfusion.

Should I Tell My Partner I Have Hep C

There are certain circumstances in which you must disclose. For instance, if you are aware of having hep C and want long-term disability or life insurance, you must tell the truth when asked about your status. If you do not disclose to a sexual partner and you transmit HCV to them, then you may be held liable for this.

Is Hepatitis C Sexually Transmitted

Can hepatitis C be spread through sexual contact?

Hepatitis C is a contagious liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus . The disease can be passed from person to person.

As with many infections, HCV lives in blood and bodily fluids. You can contract hepatitis C by coming into direct contact with an infected persons blood. It can also be transmitted by contact with bodily fluids including saliva or semen of an infected person, but this is rare.

Researchers in found that 1 out of every 190,000 instances of heterosexual sexual contact led to HCV transmission. Participants in the study were in monogamous sexual relationships.

HCV may be more likely to spread through sexual contact if you:

  • have multiple sexual partners
  • participate in rough sex, which is more likely to result in broken skin or bleeding
  • dont use barrier protection, such as condoms or dental dams
  • dont use barrier protection properly
  • have a sexually transmitted infection or HIV

Theres no evidence that HCV can be spread through oral sex. However, it may still be possible if blood is present from either the person giving or receiving oral sex.

For example, a slight risk may exist if any of the following are present:

  • menstrual blood
  • genital warts
  • any other breaks in the skin in the involved areas

Though sexual transmission is rare overall, HCV may be more likely to spread through anal sex than oral sex. This is because rectal tissue is more likely to tear during intercourse.

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How Can I Cover Medication Costs

New therapies called direct-acting antivirals are effective and can achieve cures of over 90%. Because these new therapies are very new, they remain very expensive. As such, drug coverage from both government and private companies may require that your liver disease has progressed to a certain stage before they are willing to cover the cost of these drugs.

Talk with your healthcare provider about financial support that may be available.

Below are useful resources when looking for financial assistance:Private health insurance or drug plansIf you have private health insurance or a drug plan at work, you may be able to have the medication paid through your plan. Please consult your private health insurance or drug plan provider to see if your drug is covered.

Publicly funded plansEach provincial and territorial government offers a drug benefit plan for eligible groups. Some are income-based universal programs. Most have specific programs for population groups that may require more enhanced coverage for high drug costs. These groups include seniors, recipients of social assistance, and individuals with diseases or conditions that are associated with high drug costs. For more details, please contact your provincial or territorial health care ministry, or click on the appropriate link below.

Yukon

Available Patient Assistance Programs for Hepatitis C treatment Holkira Pak Maviret

MerckCare Hepatitis C Program 1 872-5773 Zepatier

Hepatitis: 5 Ways You Can Contract This Disease

Hepatitis C FAQs

In 1990s hepatitis was considered as a widespread health problem. About 1.4 million people all over the world get hepatitis A annually. It has been estimated that in parts of Asia and Africa, approximately one in ten people suffers from chronic Hepatitis B. Hepatitis is a condition which involves inflammation of the liver, it is most commonly caused by the various strains of the hepatitis virus but could also be caused by infections, toxins, alcohol or autoimmune disorders. Hepatitis A, B, C, D, E are the five main types of hepatitis virus. Among this HAV is the most prevalent. And then HCV , it is the major cause of liver cancer and cirrhosis.

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Risk Factors of Hepatitis A

Some risk factors of hepatitis A are,

  • Household or unsafe sexual contact with an infected person.
  • Sharing contaminated needles.
  • Poor sanitation and personal hygiene.
  • Use of street drug.
  • Eating food that is prepared with an infected food handler.
  • Contamination of food and water by feces of an infected person

Risk Factors of Hepatitis B

Some risk factors of hepatitis B are,

  • Unprotected sex with several partners.
  • Coming in contact with infected blood or the transfusion of infected blood
  • Use of intravenous drug.
  • Infants of hepatitis B positive mothers.
  • Tattooing and body piercing.

Risk factors of Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is also known as “an emerging public health threat” and the “silent epidemic”. Some risk factors of hepatitis C are,

Risk Factors of Hepatitis D

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Viral Hepatitisa Very Real Consequence Of Substance Use

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. It can be caused by a variety of toxins , autoimmune conditions, or pathogens .1 Viral hepatitis is caused by a family of viruses labeled A, B, C, D, and E. To learn more about the route of transmission and prognosis for each virus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions Division of Viral Hepatitis. Hepatitis B and hepatitis C are the most common viral hepatitis infections transmitted through the sometimes risky behaviors of people who use drugsparticularly among people who inject drugs. An estimated 862,000 people are living with HBV chronic infections, with about 22,000 acute infections recorded in 2017. An estimated 2.4 million Americans are living with HCV based on 2013-2016 annual average, with an estimated 44,700 new cases of acute HCV in 2017. In fact, new cases of acute HCV have increased rapidly in the US since 2010, and have most often been associated with injection drug use.6 Three out of four people living with HCV are baby boomers born between 1945 and 1965.7

What Is The Relationship Between Drug Use And Viral Hepatitis

Drug and alcohol use places people at particular risk for contracting viral hepatitis. Engaging in risky sexual behavior that often accompanies drug use increases the risk of contracting HBV and, less frequently, HCV. People who inject drugs are at high risk for contracting HBV and HCV from shared needles and other drug preparation equipment, which exposes them to bodily fluids from other infected people. Because drug use often impairs judgement, PWID repeatedly engage in these unsafe behaviors, which can increase their risk of contracting viral hepatitis. One study reported that each person who injects drugs infected with HCV is likely to infect about 20 others, and that this rapid transmission of the disease occurs within the first 3 years of initial infection.4 Drug and alcohol use can also directly damage the liver, increasing risk for chronic liver disease and cancer among those infected with hepatitis. This underscores that early detection and treatment of hepatitis infections in PWID and other people who use drugs is paramount to protecting both the health of the person and that of the community.

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Whos At Risk For Hepatitis C

You might be more likely to get it if you:

  • Inject or have injected street drugs
  • Were born between 1945 and 1965
  • Got clotting factor concentrates made before 1987
  • Received a blood transfusion or solid organ transplants before July 1992
  • Got blood or organs from a donor who tested positive for hepatitis C
  • Are on dialysis

Higher Rates Of Hepatitis C

How to treat hepatitis C

Increasingly, in Canada, people living with hepatitis C are disproportionately affected by poverty, substance abuse, racism and limited access to healthcare. People living on the streets often do not have access to sanitary environments for using drugs or getting tattoos and piercings. People in prison often do not have access to new needles, drug use equipment or sterile tattooing equipment and people in prison often must share personal hygiene items. Indigenous people face the challenges of colonization, racism and its impacts, including isolation, poverty and the erosion of culture, which can lead some people to engage in activities that have a higher chance of passing hepatitis C. Medical practices in some countries 20 or 30 years ago exposed numerous people to hepatitis C, some of whom have immigrated to Canada.

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How Does Hepatitis C Spread

Hepatitis C is spread only through exposure to an infected person’s blood.

High-risk activities include:

  • Sharing drug use equipment. Anything involved with injecting street drugs, from syringes, to needles, to tourniquets, can have small amounts of blood on it that can transmit hepatitis C. Pipes and straws to smoke or snort drugs can have blood on them from cracked lips or nosebleeds. Get into a treatment program if you can. At the very least, don’t share needles or equipment with anyone else.
  • Sharing tattoo or piercing tools. Nonsterile items and ink can spread contaminated blood.
  • Blood transfusions in countries that donât screen blood for hepatitis C.
  • Nonsterile medical equipment. Tools that arenât cleaned properly between use can spread the virus.
  • Blood or cutting rituals. Sharing the tools or exchanging blood can transmit hepatitis C.

Medium-risk activities include:

Hepatitis C Symptoms & Treatment

FAST FACTS:

  • Hepatitis C is found in infected blood. It is also rarely found in semen and vaginal fluids.

  • Hepatitis C is mainly passed on through using contaminated needles and syringes or sharing other items with infected blood on them. It can also be passed on through unprotected sex, especially when blood is present.

  • You can prevent hepatitis C by never sharing needles and syringes, practising safer sex, and avoiding unlicensed tattoo parlours and acupuncturists.

  • Hepatitis C will often not have any noticeable symptoms, but a simple blood test carried out by a healthcare professional will show whether you have hepatitis C.

  • In the early stages, some peoples bodies can clear a hepatitis C infection on their own, others may develop chronic hepatitis C and will need to take antiviral treatment to cure the infection.

  • Without treatment, chronic hepatitis C can lead to permanent liver damage.

Hepatitis C is part of a group of hepatitis viruses that attack the liver.

Its mainly passed on through contaminated needles, either from injecting drugs or from needle stick injuries in healthcare settings. It can also be transmitted sexually, especially during anal sex or other types of sex that may involve blood.

Some groups are more at risk of getting hepatitis C than others, including people who use drugs, people in prisons, men who have sex with men, health workers and people living with HIV.

Read Also: Is Hepatitis A Sexually Transmitted Disease

Can You Be A Blood Or Organ Donor

People with hepatitis C cant currently donate blood. The American Red Cross eligibility guidelines prohibit people who have ever tested positive for hepatitis C from donating blood, even if the infection never caused symptoms.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services , information on organ donation, those with underlying medical conditions shouldnt rule themselves out as organ donors. This reflects new guidelines for organ donation announced by the HHS.

People with HCV are now able to be organ donors. This is because advances in testing and medical technology can help the transplant team determine which organs or tissues can be safely used for transplantation.

How Long Will The Effects Last

Hepatitis C Transmission

Symptoms of first infection, when they occur, may last 1 to 6 weeks and then they usually go away completely.

Some people who have hepatitis C develop the chronic form of the disease. This means the virus keeps affecting the liver for several months or years. Damage to the liver by the infection can scar the liver. This scarring of the liver is called cirrhosis. The infection and damage might even cause liver failure. Your healthcare provider may check your blood every few months for signs of chronic liver disease.

Infection with the hepatitis C virus increases your risk for liver cancer.

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Testing For Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is usually diagnosed using 2 blood tests: the antibody test and the PCR test. These can be as part of a routine blood test or are often combined as a dried blood spot test. The dried blood spot test is similar to a blood sugar test in pricking the finger to get a blood spot that is put on a testing card. This is then sent to a laboratory to be tested.

Another similar test is an antigen test, which if used can often get the results back in 90 minutes. This is very expensive and not many services have access to the machine needed.

What Type Of Doctor Treats Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is treated by either a gastroenterologist, a hepatologist , or an infectious disease specialist. The treatment team may include more than one specialist, depending on the extent of liver damage.Surgeons who specialize in surgery of the liver, including liver transplantation, are part of the medical team and should see patients with advanced disease early, before the patient needs a liver transplant. They may be able to identify issues that need to be addressed before surgery can be considered. Other persons who can be helpful in managing patients include dietitians to consult on nutritional issues and pharmacists to assist with management of drugs.

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How Can I Protect Myself And Others

  • Never share injecting drug equipment or things that may have blood on them such as toothbrushes and razors. Also avoid sharing straws or rolled up banknotes if snorting drugs with others.
  • Use condoms for anal and vaginal sex and latex gloves for fisting.
  • During group sex, cover anything which goes from one partner to another with a fresh condom or fresh latex glove for each new person it enters. Clean objects with warm water and anti-bacterial soap before using on a new partner.
  • Dont share enema equipment or pots of lubricant.

If you have hepatitis C you may want to tell a partner and explain that youre infectious. They can then decide if they’re happy to take any risks and whether they want to take precautions. That way they cannot accuse you of infecting them without them knowing that the risk was there.

What Is Chronic Hepatitis C

What is Hepatitis C? | How is Hepatitis C Transmitted?

Doctors refer to hepatitis C infections as either acute or chronic:

  • An acute HCV infection is a short-term illness that clears within 6 months of when a person is exposed to the virus.
  • A person who still has HCV after 6 months is said to have a chronic hepatitis C infection. This is a long-term illness, meaning the virus stays in the body and can cause lifelong illness. An estimated 3.2 million people in the U.S. have chronic HCV.

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Contaminated Needles And Infected Blood

You can get hepatitis C from sharing contaminated needles, syringes and other injecting equipment during recreational drug use. Banknotes and straws used for snorting may also pass the virus on.

Being exposed to unsterilised tattoo and body piercing equipment can also pass hepatitis C on. Occasionally, you can get it from sharing a towel, razor blades or a toothbrush if there is infected blood on them.

Hepatitis C infection is also passed on in healthcare settings, from needle stick injuries or from medical and dental equipment that has not been properly sterilised. In countries where blood products are not routinely screened, you can also get hepatitis C by receiving a transfusion of unscreened blood and blood products.

You can prevent hepatitis C by:

  • never sharing needles and syringes or other items that may be contaminated with infected blood
  • only having tattoos, body piercings or acupuncture in a professional setting, where new, sterile needles are used
  • following the standard infection control precautions, if youre working in a healthcare setting.

What Do Hepatitis C Symptoms Look Like

Hepatitis C infection can go through two stages: acute and chronic. In the early, or acute stage, most people don’t have symptoms. If they do develop symptoms, these can include:

  • flu-like symptoms, tiredness, high temperature and aches and pains
  • loss of appetite
  • tummy pain
  • jaundice, meaning your skin and the whites of your eyes turn yellow

While for some people, the infection will clear without treatment, in most cases, acute infection will develop into long-term chronic infection. Chronic infection may not become apparent for a number of years until the liver displays signs of damage. These symptoms can include:

  • mental confusion and depression these are specific to hepatitis C
  • constantly feeling tired
  • nausea, vomiting or tummy pain
  • dark urine
  • feeling bloated
  • joint and muscle pain

Without treatment, chronic hepatitis C can cause scarring of the liver , which can cause the liver to stop working properly. A small number of people with cirrhosis develop liver cancer and these complications can lead to death. Other than a liver transplant, theres no cure for cirrhosis. However, treatments can help relieve some of the symptoms.

Recommended Reading: Treatment To Cure Hepatitis C

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