May 17, 2001
How is hep. c contracted? Is it contagious? If so, how can you prevent getting it? What does hep. c do?
| Response from Dr. Young
Hepatitis C is usually transmitted via innoculation with infected blood or bloody body fluids. It is therefore transmitted via injection drug use (sharing rigs or needles), or transfusion of contaminated blood (as happened prior to the testing of blood products for HCV). Sexual transmission is actually relatively rare, particularly relevant are studies of transmission among heterosexual couples who were sero-discordant (one partner positive, the other negative). Vertical transmission (mother to child) is very rare.
Hepatitis C causes liver infection and inflammation. The majority of infected persons establish a chronic infection, though about 1/3 of persons control the infection immunologically and are free of circulating virus. A significant proportion of those who are chronically infected have the risk of progressive liver disease and cirrhosis, though this process typically takes many years.
Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS
This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.
Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither TheBody.com nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.