Monday, January 30, 2023

Symptoms Of Hepatitis C In Men

What Causes Hepatitis C

What are the early signs and symptoms of Hepatitis B & C? | Apollo Hospitals

The hepatitis C virus causes hepatitis C. The hepatitis C virus spreads through contact with an infected persons blood. Contact can occur by

  • sharing drug needles or other drug materials with an infected person
  • getting an accidental stick with a needle that was used on an infected person
  • being tattooed or pierced with tools or inks that were not kept sterilefree from all viruses and other microorganismsand were used on an infected person before they were used on you
  • having contact with the blood or open sores of an infected person
  • using an infected persons razor, toothbrush, or nail clippers
  • being born to a mother with hepatitis C
  • having unprotected sex with an infected person

You cant get hepatitis C from

  • being coughed or sneezed on by an infected person
  • drinking water or eating food
  • hugging an infected person
  • shaking hands or holding hands with an infected person
  • sharing spoons, forks, and other eating utensils
  • sitting next to an infected person

A baby cant get hepatitis C from breast milk.18

Spread Of Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is spread through blood-to-blood contact when blood from a person with hepatitis C enters another persons bloodstream.

The most common way people become infected with hepatitis C in Australia is by sharing injecting equipment such as needles, syringes, spoons and tourniquets. It is possible to be infected with hepatitis C after only one risk event.

Hepatitis C may also be spread through:

  • tattooing and body piercing with equipment that has not been properly cleaned, disinfected or sterilised such as backyard tattoos. Registered parlours with appropriate infection control procedures are not a risk
  • needlestick injuries in a healthcare setting
  • receiving blood transfusions in Australia prior to 1990 before hepatitis C virus testing of blood donations was introduced
  • medical procedures, blood transfusions or blood products and mass immunisation programs provided in a country other than Australia
  • pregnancy or childbirth there is a 5% chance of a mother with chronic hepatitis C infection passing on the virus to her baby during pregnancy or childbirth.

Breastfeeding is safe, however if nipples are cracked or bleeding cease breastfeeding until they have healed.

Less likely possible routes of transmission of hepatitis C include:

Hepatitis C cannot be transmitted by:

  • sharing food, cups or cutlery
  • shaking hands or day-to-day physical contact.

Chronic Hepatitis C Symptoms

If you donât get diagnosed and treated, you could have the disease for years and not know it. Doctors call this the chronic form, because it lasts a long time. Some people who’ve had it for a while get scarring of the liver, which is called cirrhosis. or liver cancer.

In addition to the above symptoms, signs that your liver isnât working the way it should include:

Read Also: What Are The Effects Of Hepatitis C

Causes Of Chronic Hepatitis

The most common causes of chronic hepatitis are

Hepatitis C virus causes about 60 to 70% of cases of chronic hepatitis, and at least 75% of acute hepatitis C cases become chronic.

About 5 to 10% of hepatitis B cases in adults become chronic, sometimes with hepatitis D Hepatitis D Hepatitis D virus is infection of the liver that occurs only in people who have hepatitis B. Hepatitis D can be spread by contact with blood and other body fluids. Coinfection with hepatitis… read more coinfection. Acute hepatitis B becomes chronic in up to 90% of infected newborns and in 25 to 50% of young children.

Rarely, hepatitis E virus causes chronic hepatitis in people with a weakened immune system, such as those who are taking drugs to suppress the immune system after an organ transplant, who are taking drugs to treat cancer, or who have HIV infection.

Hepatitis A virus does not cause chronic hepatitis.

Less often, chronic hepatitis results from

  • Autoimmune hepatitis

In autoimmune hepatitis, the chronic inflammation resembles inflammation caused by the body attacking its own tissues . Autoimmune hepatitis is more common among women than men.

Does Hepatitis A Always Cause Symptoms

Hepatitis C Symptoms

Theres a lot of variety in how people feel when they have the disease. Its possible you might not have any symptoms. But people often feel and look sick. You might even need to go to the hospital.

Symptoms and complications are more common as you get older. Most children under age 6 with hep A dont have any.

Also Check: Where To Get Tested For Hepatitis C

Read Also: Hepatitis B Test Kit Walgreens

Can Hepatitis C Be Spread During Vaginal Sex

Its rare for the hepatitis C virus to be transmitted through vaginal intercourse. Unless the vaginal walls arent lubricated or intercourse is very rough and leads to tears in the vaginal wall, theres no opportunity for blood to be exchanged. The risk for transmission with vaginal intercourse is about 1 in 190,000, according to research published in the March 2013 issue of the journal Hepatology.

Research published in the Journal of Coagulation Disorders in March 2014 reinforces these findings, emphasizing that transmission of the hepatitis C virus by sex in monogamous heterosexual couples is rare. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that couples in monogamous heterosexual relationships do not need to use condoms routinely, even if one partner has hepatitis C. Concerned couples, however, can discuss using a condom to lower the already very low risk of spreading the virus, says Talal.

Just how safe sex is when a partner has hepatitis C hinges on some other factors as well. For example, its important to use a new condom with each sexual act that has the potential to expose the uninfected partner to the infected persons blood, even if youre in a committed relationship, says the CDC. Some of these situations include sex when you or your partner:

  • Has an open cut or sore
  • Has another sexually transmitted infection , especially one that causes sores or lesions
  • Is having her menstrual period

How Many People Have Hepatitis C

During 2013-2016 it was estimated that about two and half million people were chronically infected with HCV in the United States. The actual number may be as low as 2.0 million or as high as 2.8 million.Globally, hepatitis C is a common blood-borne infection with an estimated 71 million people chronically infected according to the World Health Organization .

Read Also: Quest Diagnostics Hepatitis B Titer

Medications For Hepatitis C

Many different medications can treat hepatitis C. Treatments most often include antivirals, with Riboviria sometimes prescribed if previous treatments were ineffective.

Medications called direct-acting antivirals work to fully remove the hepatitis C virus from your body while helping prevent liver damage at the same time.

A few brand names of these medications include:

6 different genotypes , or strains, of hepatitis C.

Once your doctor or other healthcare professional knows your genotype, theyll have a better idea of which medication will work best for you. Some strains have developed a resistance to some medications, so your genotype can affect your treatment options.

Sometimes The Infection Goes Away On Its Own

Hepatitis, Causes, Signs and Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment.

Acute hepatitis is C is a short-term illness that occurs within the first six months after being exposed to the virus. Like the human papillomavirus , early acute hepatitis C can clear on its own without treatment this happens about 25% of the time.

However, it’s more likely that the virus will remain in your body longer than six months, at which point it’s considered to be chronic hepatitis C infection.

“Being younger or a woman tends to be a factor in whether the virus clears on its own, and genetics may play a role,” Reau says. “But we can’t determine with certainty which people are certain to clear the infection and which aren’t.”

Recommended Reading: Hiv And Hepatitis Both Have

What Happens If Someone Has Hepatitis C And Hiv

When someone has both Hepatitis C and HIV, it is often referred to as HCV-HIV co-infection. This means that you have two infections in your body at the same time. HIV, the term for human immunodeficiency virus, is the virus that causes AIDS. You can find more detailed information about HIV and AIDS on several Web sties, including:

HCV-HIV co-infection is fairly common. Overall, about one-third of all Americans infected with HIV also have Hepatitis C. And the rate of co-infection is much higher among injection drug users. More than half of people who have HIV and use injection drugs are also infected with Hepatitis C.

People that are co-infected can be effectively treated. However, since there are two infections to deal with managing them is more complicated. There is no cure for HIV, but it can be controlled. Hepatitis C can be treated successfully. Working closely with a doctor who specializes in managing co-infections will give you the best chance for successful treatment.

There are specific risks associated with co-infection. Having HIV, in addition to Hepatitis C, does the following:

  • Quickens Hepatitis C disease progression
  • Triples the risk for liver disease, liver failure and liver-related death
  • Increases the chance that Hepatitis C will be sexually transmitted
  • Increases the chance that a mother will infect her unborn child with Hepatitis C

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.

Also Check: How To Read Hepatitis C Test Results

What Are The Side Effects Of Treatments For Hepatitis C Infection

Side effects of interferon or pegylated interferon

  • The most common side effects of interferon or pegylated interferon include fever, flu-like symptoms, and depression. Patients must be monitored closely for depression. Risk of suicide is a reason to avoid interferons.
  • Interferons also reduce white blood cell and/or red blood cell counts . This may cause increased susceptibility to infection. Interferons also increase the risk of certain cancers. Death rarely occurs as a result of therapy, but may occur from progression of liver failure in patients with advanced cirrhosis.

Side effects of ribavirin

  • Ribavirin most commonly causes anemia due to destruction of red blood cells . This can be severe enough that people with heart disease may suffer a heart attack from insufficient blood flow, so people with heart disease should not receive this drug. Anemia improves with a reduction in the dose of ribavirin. Injected growth factor that stimulates the production of red blood cells often is used to improve the anemia associated with ribavirin. Ribavirin also accumulates in the testicles and ovaries and causes birth defects in animals. Although no birth defects have been reported in humans, both men and women should use contraceptive measures to avoid pregnancy during and for at least six months after ribavirin treatment.

Side effects of DAAs

What Are The Different Types Of Hepatitis C

What are the symptoms of hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C can be acute or chronic. How long you experience symptoms will depend on the type you have.

Acute hepatitis C involves more short-term symptoms that typically last 6 months or less but acute hepatitis often leads to chronic hepatitis. When hepatitis C lasts longer than 6 months, its considered chronic.

Without treatment, you may have chronic hepatitis your whole life, since your body often cant get rid of the virus easily. Some people do get better without treatment, although treatment can go a long way toward improving the outlook.

Hepatitis C wont necessarily become chronic.

As a matter of fact, for anywhere from 15 to 45 percent of people with acute hepatitis C, the virus will clear up without treatment. In other words, if you dont have any symptoms, hepatitis C could improve on its own before you ever know you have it.

However, if your body cant get rid of the hepatitis C virus, the infection wont go away. Instead, it will become chronic, or long-term.

Experts arent sure why some people develop the chronic form of the disease and others dont. But more than half of all people with the hepatitis C virus will eventually develop the chronic form, according to the

Since hepatitis C symptoms can resemble those of other health conditions, your symptoms alone if you have any may not make it clear that you have hepatitis C.

A doctor or other healthcare professional may recommend getting tested if you:

Read Also: What Hepatitis Virus Appears In The Blood

Willowbrook State School Experiments

A New York University researcher named Saul Krugman continued this research into the 1950s and 1960s, most infamously with his experiments on mentally disabled children at the Willowbrook State School in New York, a crowded urban facility where hepatitis infections were highly endemic to the student body. Krugman injected students with gamma globulin, a type of antibody. After observing the temporary protection against infection this antibody provided, he then tried injected live hepatitis virus into students. Krugman also controversially took feces from infected students, blended it into milkshakes, and fed it to newly admitted children.

Building Healthy Sexual Relationships

Rule number one for a healthy sexual relationship: Be open and honest with your partners. I believe in transparency, says Talal. This conversation can be difficult, but its important to have. Part of discussing your status is talking about what exposure you may have had to hepatitis C, even in the distant past.

Its a good opportunity for you both to share your sexual history, as well as your experiences with other ways hepatitis C can be transmitted, such as using injection drugs or being exposed to items that may have blood on them, including needles, razors, and toothbrushes.

Sherman explains that even if you consistently use condoms during sex, other activities, such as sharing needles to inject drugs or sharing straws to snort them, increase your risk of spreading hepatitis C. People do not want to hear about this, he says. Its difficult to get the word out about risk.

If you and your partner find that hepatitis C is disrupting your relationship or your sex life, you might also consider working with a marriage and family therapist or a sex therapist.

Also Check: How Many Genotypes Of Hepatitis C Are There

What Is The Treatment For People With Acute Hepatitis C Infection

When people first get hepatitis C, the infection is said to be acute. Most people with acute hepatitis C do not have symptoms so they are not recognized as being infected. However, some have low-grade fever, fatigue or other symptoms that lead to an early diagnosis. Others who become infected and have a known exposure to an infected source, such as a needlestick injury, are monitored closely.

Treatment decisions should be made on a case-by-case basis. Response to treatment is higher in acute hepatitis infection than chronic infection. However, many experts prefer to hold off treatment for 8-12 weeks to see whether the patient naturally eliminates the virus without treatment. Approaches to treatment are evolving. Patients with acute hepatitis C infection should discuss treatment options with a health care professional who is experienced in treating the disease. There is no established treatment regimen at this time.

How effective is hepatitis C treatment? Is hepatitis C curable?

If the hepatitis C RNA remains undetectable at the end of the treatment and follow-up period, this is called a sustained virologic response and is considered a cure. Over 90% of people treated with DAAs are cured. These people have significantly reduced liver inflammation, and liver scarring may even be reversed.

About 5% of people who are treated for HCV infection are not cured by some of the older regimens. These people may still have options for cure with the newer regimens.

How Can I Prevent Getting Hepatitis C

What is Hepatitis C and Why Should You Care?

There is no vaccine to prevent Hepatitis C, but there is research being done to develop one. Currently, vaccines are only available for Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B.

Remember that Hepatitis C is transmitted or spread when the blood from a Hepatitis C-infected person enters the bloodstream of someone who is not infected. If you dont have Hepatitis C, you can reduce your risk of becoming infected by doing the following:

  • If youre injecting drugs, try to get into a treatment program. If you continue to use drugs, dont share needles or other equipment with anyone else. Many cities have needle exchange programs that provide free, sterile needles.
  • Make sure all equipment has been sterilized if youre getting body piercings or a tattoo.
  • If youre a healthcare worker follow your institutions safety precautions. For example, wear protective clothing and gloves and dispose of contaminated sharp objects properly.
  • If you have more than one sex partner or are a man having sex with other men, use condoms for intercourse.

Watch The Stigma of HCV

Recommended Reading: How Can A Person Contract Hepatitis

Other Risks Can Include:

  • Sharing personal care items that may have come in contact with another persons blood, such as razors, toothbrushes or nail clippers
  • Inoculation practices involving multiple use needles or immunization air guns
  • Exposure of broken skin to HCV infected blood
  • HIV infected persons

People with current or past risk behaviors should consider HCV testing and consult with a physician. HCV testing is currently not available at most public health clinics in Missouri. For information about HCV testing that is available, call the HCV Program Coordinator at 573-751-6439.

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