Easy C Facts: What Is Hepatitis C?

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Hepatitis C (HCV for short) is a virus that lives in human blood. A virus is one of the smallest living things known to exist inside plants and animals. HCV makes new hepatitis C viruses by infecting the liver, and after many years the liver can become so damaged by hepatitis C that it cannot perform many of the important jobs that it must do to keep us healthy.

You can only get hepatitis C by getting HCV infected blood from someone who has hepatitis C, and ONLY if that infected blood gets into your body. If you have hepatitis C you should make sure that your blood does not come into contact with someone else's blood.

Remember

  • Many people have hepatitis C so you are not alone. It takes many years for hepatitis C to cause damage to the liver and to make someone sick.
  • There are many things that people can do to help fight hepatitis C, and the best time to start is early -- before hepatitis C has a chance to damage your liver.
  • One of the most important things you can do is to stop or cut down on drinking alcohol.
  • There are also medicines to get rid of hepatitis C that work in over 9 out of 10 people treated.
  • Talk with your doctor or nurse about monitoring hepatitis C and the about the drugs used to treat and cure hepatitis C.

Get tested. Get treated. Get cured.