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Hepatitis C

Background

Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus. It can cause your liver to swell, which can make your liver not work properly. Having hepatitis C for a long time can lead to other problems such as cirrhosis (scarring of the liver), liver failure, or liver cancer.

Causes

You can get hepatitis C when blood from someone with hepatitis C enters your body. This can happen if:

  • You share any of the following with someone who has hepatitis C:
    • Needles or syringes
    • Tattoo or piercing tools that weren’t sterilized properly
    • Razors or toothbrushes
  • You have unprotected sex with someone who has hepatitis C
  • Your mom had hepatitis C when she gave birth to you

Treatment

Hepatitis C is treated with medications that slow or stop liver damage. There is no vaccine to prevent it, but it can now be cured. Most people will have a combination of different antiviral medications to help fight the hepatitis C virus, such as oral medications that prevent the virus from making more copies of itself.

Resources