About Hepatitis C
More common than you may think
In the United States, over 5 million people have been infected with hepatitis C, the majority of whom are baby boomers, those born between 1945 and 1965. That’s more than 4 times the number of people with HIV. Hepatitis C is contracted by blood-to-blood contact, such as sharing needles, getting a tattoo with instruments that aren’t sterile or clean, or receiving a blood donation before screening became standard in 1992.
75% of those infected with hepatitis C don’t even know they have it. One reason for this is that hepatitis C is typically a “silent” disease. Many experience few or no symptoms, and there is no way of knowing when, or if, symptoms might arise. However, even without symptoms, over time, the disease can lead to serious liver damage, which can lead to liver failure or even death.
There are many different types of hepatitis C, known as genotypes. Genotype 1 is the most common genotype in the United States.
With chronic hepatitis C (genotype 1), there’s so much to know. You may not understand what it all means or that you might be able to do something about it. It might be helpful to take a step back and understand more about your diagnosis and how it can affect your health. This can help you decide if now is the time to talk to your doctor about your chance for a cure.*