Doctor insights on:
How Do You Get Hepatitus C
Hepatitis c is a virus that replicates (makes copies of itself) in the human liver. People can be infected by exposure to even very small amounts of blood. Over 20 to 40 years it can cause scarring of the liver, and severe scarring is called cirrhosis. People can be tested for exposure with an antibody test. If that is positive, they need a test for the virus itself ...Read more
Hep C testing: The "old answer" would be: 1. Abnormal "lfts" 2. At-risk conditions - eg. Blood transfusions pre-1993, any history if IV drug use (even once), history of jaundice or hepatitis etc. Etc. But, the CDC is contemplating recommending all us people born between 1946 and 1965 (and maybe 1970) should be screened once. http://www.hhs.gov/ash/initiatives/hepatitis/actionplan_viralhepatitis2011.pdf. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Yes: In short, yes you can get hepatitis C from "snorting drugs" and from using intravenous drugs. This is the most common cause of contracting hepatitis C. The good news is that now a days, we can cure hepatitis C over 90% of the time compared to medications in the past. See a hepatologist for discussion regarding the new therapies. ...Read more
Your call: You can be tested whenever you want. If you have risk factors (body fluid/sexual contact with a known infected person, or IV drug use, etc) than get tested. Otherwise, hepatitis is not a routine test to get. If you just want to know if you have hepatitis, volunteer to donate blood at your local red cross, and they will test you for several diseases (including hepatitis) for free as a screen. ...Read more
No: Hepatitis c is very common, but is thought to be difficult to spread through sex. It is easily spread through blood however, and so any open wounds would be concerning. My initial thoughts are if he is at high risk for hepatitis c, then i would be more concerned to know his test results for sexually transmitted diseases/hiv. ...Read more
Took chances?: I'm not sure what you meant by taking chances. That aside, if a healthy person is exposed to hepatitis c and becomes infected with it, blood tests can often detect the new infection within 2 to 4 weeks following the exposure (hepatitis c RNA and liver enzymes). If a new infection is detected early, with current drug treatment, the chance of cure from hepatitis c is well over 90%. ...Read more
Blood borne disease: Transmitted in high risk situations. Most common are: IV drugs (sharing needles), or using nasal drugs, accidental needle stick in a healthcare worker, reused needles/medical equipment without sterilizing, sexually, tattoos, blood transfusion before june 1992 (as couldn't screen for hep c). Other risk factors are sharing razors, being incarcerated. A simple blood test can confirm if you have hep c ...Read more
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