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How Long Can Hepatitis C Go Undetected

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Hepatitis | Pathophysiology of Viral Hepatitis

The drug was not well-received by the body and was wrought with side effects, Goldman said.

These days the hepatitis C course of treatment is much shorter and easier on the patient. Now we treat patients for a total of 8-12 weeks, he said. A single daily pill eradicates the virus in more than 90 percent of those who are treated.

The CDC website explained that baby boomers are more than five times more likely to contract hepatitis C compared to the rest of the population. Many were unknowingly infected with the disease when they were in their teens and 20s via blood transfusions or other health care exposures prior to 1992 when universal precautions and widespread blood screening began.

Additional at-risk individuals include those who have injected illegal drugs, patients who have received long-term hemodialysis treatment, people living with HIV, children born to mothers with hepatitis C and those with known exposure, such as health care workers who have been in contact with needlesticks involving blood from a patient with the disease.

Goldman talked about the current situation in conjunction with the opioid epidemic, noting that those who inject the drugs contribute to the growing number of cases of hepatitis C.

Prior to that, cases were going down, now they are going back up, he said.

Individuals who engage in certain at-risk behaviors may need to be screened more frequently, he said.

Goldman

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Genital herpes may cause painful genital ulcers that can be severe and persistent in persons with suppressed immune systems, such as HIV-infected persons. 5 Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 can also cause rare but serious complications such as aseptic meningitis . 5 Development of extragenital lesions may occur during the course of infection. 5

Can You Have Hiv For 20 Years And Not Know

While its common for people with HIV to experience symptoms similar to the flu after a few weeks of the initial infection, some people may experience no symptoms at all during the early stages of HIV.

If a person with HIV goes undiagnosed and the virus develops into stage 2, HIV will continue to develop and may last for 10-15 years without the appropriate HIV testing and treatment . Its important to note that this stage can also bring with it little to no symptoms and people may not even feel sick.

The only way to know your HIV status is to get tested. This can be done by visiting your local HIV testing centre, your local doctor, or from home with an at-home lab test. Early detection is crucial to getting prompt treatment and going on to lead both a happy and healthy life.

See also:What is the Treatment for HIV?

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Prevention Of Hepatitis C

Exclusion from childcare, preschool, school and work is not necessary.

There is currently no vaccine for protection against hepatitis C virus infection. People with hepatitis C should ensure they are vaccinated against hepatitis A and hepatitis B.

There is no evidence that giving immunoglobulin after exposure to hepatitis C will prevent infection.

Infected health care workers must comply with the requirements of their professional boards.

Everyone has a responsibility to help prevent the spread of hepatitis C and to take care of themselves and others. This means:

For more information about Hepatitis C read the Get tested, get treated, eliminate Hepatitis C infographic.

How Do I Get Tested

Hepatitis C is diagnosed with a blood test. Unlike hepatitis A and B, you can be infected more than once and you do not develop immunity if you contract hepatitis C. Speak to your doctor or healthcare provider to arrange a test for hepatitis C or visit your nearest sexual health clinic to organise a test for hepatitis C as part of your next test.

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Acute Hepatitis B Infection

An acute hepatitis B infection may last up to six months and infected persons are able to pass the virus to others during this time. A simple blood test can let a person know if the hepatitis B virus is in their blood or if they have successfully gotten rid of the virus. The doctor should periodically test your blood over the six-month period to monitor the health of your liver and check progress towards recovery. In a person who has recovered from an acute hepatitis B infection, a taken six-months after initial diagnosis will show that there is no more hepatitis B virus in your blood.

Being diagnosed with acute hepatitis B can be difficult. As you move through the initial six-month period, there are tips and strategies to help.

Until your health care provider confirms that the blood test shows that there is no more hepatitis B virus in your blood, it is important to protect others from a possible infection.

It is also important to have your sexual partner and family members get tested for hepatitis B. If they have not been infected and have not received the hepatitis B vaccine then they should also start the hepatitis B vaccine series.

Be sure to follow-up with your health care provider for any additional blood tests that are needed to confirm your recovery from an acute infection.

Chronic Phase Of Hepatitis C

After six months 70% to 85% of those infected will have failed to clear the virus spontaneously. After this period the hepatitis C virus enters what is known as the chronic phase. This is when hepatitis C becomes a chronic or long-term infection. The diagnosis is confirmed when over a six month period hepatitis C RNA viral presence is detectable on at least two occasions.

A diagnosis of chronic hepatitis C means the battle between the virus and the immune system that occurs during the acute stage has finally been won by the virus. It is now highly unlikely that the virus can be cleared without treatment.

How the disease then progresses varies significantly from person to person. After many years some people will have minimal liver damage with no scarring while others can progress to cirrhosis within less than ten years. On average it takes about twenty years for significant liver scarring to develop. It is still not known whether chronic hepatitis C infection inevitably leads to cirrhosis. At present it is thought that this is a very likely outcome, although for some people it may take at least 50 years or more. They may well die of other unrelated diseases or conditions before cirrhosis develops. The rate of progression of liver damage cannot be accurately determined by liver enzyme levels, viral load or by genotype.

Liver damage and fibrosis during the chronic stage

Free Radicals and Fibrosis

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Can You Get A Vaccine To Prevent Hepatitis C

Vaccines are a way to expose your body to a virus before you encounter the live virus naturally. A vaccine contains traces of a dead virus, so your body can form a memory of the virus. Your body then remembers how to attack and destroy the virus if you ever come into contact with it.

There isnt a vaccine for hepatitis C at this time. Hepatitis C has many different subtypes and strains, so creating a vaccine that protects against all the different types is complicated. Vaccines are available for both hepatitis A and B, but one for hepatitis C hasnt been approved.

If you have hepatitis C, your doctor may suggest you get the vaccine for both hepatitis A and B. These two types of viruses cause liver damage, so the added protection is a smart idea.

Treatments For Hepatitis C

Hepatitis | Diagnosis of Viral Hepatitis

Hepatitis C can be treated with medicines that stop the virus multiplying inside the body. These usually need to be taken for several weeks.

Until recently, most people would have taken 2 main medicines called pegylated interferon and ribavirin .

Tablet-only treatments are now available.

These new hepatitis C medicines have been found to make treatment more effective, are easier to tolerate, and have shorter treatment courses.

They include sofosbuvir and daclatasvir.

Using the latest medications, more than 90% of people with hepatitis C may be cured.

But its important to be aware that you will not be immune to the infection and should take steps to reduce your risk of becoming infected again.

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Benefits Of The Hepatitis C Test

Did you know that annually around three to four million new hepatitis C infection are reported? This virus is transmitted primarily through blood but also through unprotected sexual intercourse. There is also a risk of becoming infected when getting a tattoo or piercing in an unhygienic and unsanitized environment.

For the cerascreen® Hepatitis C Test, you do not need to go to the doctor or wait for an appointment. You simply receive a straightforward instruction booklet with pictures and then collect the sample yourself in the comfort of your home. Afterward, you will get an overview of the consequences of an unknown STI.

Profit from our expertise: cerascreen® is the in Europe, with eight years of experience in test development and analysis. In Europe we have developed more than 50 certified send-in sample collection kits , analyzed over 250,000 samples, and offer our products to 19 different countries.

Joint And Muscle Pain

A condition called arthralgia causes joint pain and is common in people with hepatitis C. Itâs different from arthritis, which causes pain and swelling in joints. But infected people can also get hepatitis C-related arthritis.

Fibromyalgia, which causes body aches and muscle pain, is also common in people with hepatitis C.

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Complications Of Hepatitis C

If the infection is left untreated for many years, some people with hepatitis C will develop scarring of the liver .

Over time, this can cause the liver to stop working properly.

In severe cases, life-threatening problems, such as liver failure, where the liver loses most or all of its functions, or liver cancer, can eventually develop.

Treating hepatitis C as early as possible can help reduce the risk of these problems happening.

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    What Treatments Are Available For Chronic Hepatitis B If Medications Dont Work

    If you have advanced hepatitis B, you might also become a candidate for a liver transplant. This path does not always result in a cure because the virus continues in your bloodstream after a transplant. To prevent being infected again after your transplant, you may be prescribed hepatitis B immunoglobulin with an antiviral agent.

    Blood And Vessel Problems

    People with hepatitis C often get a condition called cryoglobulinemia. This happens when certain proteins in your blood stick together in cold weather. They can build up in vessels and block blood flow, which causes swelling and damage. The condition can affect your skin, organs, nerves, and joints.

    Hepatitis C also can cause problems with blood itself. You may not make enough white blood cells, which fight infections, or platelets, which help your blood clot.

    The infection can also make you bruise easily or get red or purple spots under your skin. Those are signs of a bleeding disorder called immune thrombocytopenic purpura.

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    Public Health Significance And Occurrence Of Hepatitis C

    Hepatitis C occurs worldwide. Current estimates suggest that more than 250,000 Australians have been infected with this virus. An estimated 9,700 new cases of HCV occurred in 2005 however, only 354 cases were determined to be newly acquired, as most cases are subclinical, go unnoticed and are incidentally found.

    Three-quarters of people infected with HCV become chronically infected with the virus. Of these, approximately 1020 per cent will develop liver cirrhosis over a period of 1540 years, and an estimated 5 per cent will develop hepatocellular carcinoma after 40 years of infection. This risk can be exacerbated by liver injury, especially concurrent alcohol use. Five per cent of infants born to HCV-infected women develop HCV infection. Breastfeeding is not an additional risk factor for transmission unless the nipples are cracked, or the baby has cuts on or inside the mouth.

    There are at least six major genotypes of HCV. At present, the main genotypes found in the Australian population are 1 , 3 and 2 . It is important to determine the genotype because this guides therapy.

    Antivirals Can Cure Hepatitis C

    Hepatitis B Infection with Case â Disorders of the Hepatobiliary Tract | Lecturio

    More than 90 percent of people who have hepatitis C can be cured with an 8- to 12-week course of direct-acting antivirals, according to the CDC.

    Sometimes patients who are infected believe that hep C is a death sentence and that it will inevitably lead to liver failure or liver cancer, but that is not the case, says Cody Chastain, MD, an assistant professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Today, hepatitis C can be treated quickly and effectively.

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    About The Hepatitis C Virus

    Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus that predominantly infects the cells of the liver. This can result in inflammation and significant damage to the liver. It can also affect the livers ability to perform its essential functions. Although it has always been regarded as a liver disease – hepatitis means inflammation of the liver – recent research has shown that the hepatitis C virus affects a number of other areas of the body. These can include the digestive system, the lymphatic system, the immune system and the brain.

    Hepatitis C was first discovered in the 1980s when it became apparent that there was a new virus causing liver damage. Before being properly identified in 1989 it was originally known as non-A non-B hepatitis. In 1991 a screening process was developed making it possible to detect HCV in blood samples. As a relatively new disease there are still many aspects of hepatitis C which are yet to be fully understood.

    There are an estimated 150 million people worldwide chronically infected with hepatitis C. The level of infection, known as prevalence, varies widely from country to country. In some countries, such as Egypt, it is as high as15%. In the United States it is believed to be 1% and in the UK it is believed to be around 0.5%. The virus can only be transmitted by infected blood.

    Hepatitis C And Health

    How can health-care personnel avoid exposure to HCV?

    Avoiding occupational exposure to blood is the primary way to prevent transmission of bloodborne illnesses among health-care personnel. To promote blood safety in the workplace, health-care personnel should consult infectious-disease control guidance from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and from CDC. Depending on the medical procedure involved, Standard Precautions may include the appropriate use of personal protective equipment .

    What is the risk of acquiring hepatitis C after being accidentally exposed to HCV-contaminated blood or body fluids in the workplace?

    Although sharps injuries have decreased in recent decades due to improved prevention measures, they continue to occur, placing health-care personnel at risk for several bloodborne pathogens like hepatitis C. A recent analysis of several studies revealed an overall 0.2% risk for infection among those exposed to HCV-antibody-positive blood through needlestick or sharps injuries . Updated guidelines for management and treatment of hepatitis Cexternal icon are available to provide guidance for health-care personnel who become infected via exposure to contaminated blood at the workplace.

    Other than needlesticks, do other exposures place health-care personnel at risk for hepatitis C?

    Should HCV-infected health-care personnel be restricted in their work?

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    Late Therapy Works But Sooner Is Better

    Early detection of hepatitis C can help prevent serious health consequences and the spread of the disease to others. But even people with a later diagnosis can benefit from treatment.

    Kris Kowdley, MD, the director of the liver care network and organ care research at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, says that patients with advanced cirrhosis and advanced liver disease have shown improvements after receiving medications.

    We are recovering patients from the brink of liver failure because these drugs are so effective in patients with advanced liver disease, says Dr. Kowdley. We have seen a dramatic reduction in patients needing liver transplants for hepatitis C within the last 24 months.

    K.V. Narayanan Menon, MD, the medical director of liver transplantation at Cleveland Clinic, agrees that antivirals are effective in all stages of liver disease. Because the medications produce such successful results, Dr. Menon is also noticing more liver transplant patients who are hepatitis C negative but willing to receive a liver from a donor who had hepatitis C.

    Im seeing a positive response from recipients who are willing to take on this risk, says Menon. Even though it means they will get hep C, they know they can get cured afterward.

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