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Hepatitis C Virus: Know the Facts

Many people don’t know the facts about hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. You may be concerned about things you’ve heard. Read on to learn what’s true about hepatitis C and what’s not.

More complete information can be found on the VA hepatitis website at: http://www.hepatitis.va.gov/

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Facts about HCV Infection

  • HCV can be spread through sex, but this is uncommon. If you’re in a committed relationship, you may not need to change your habits. Talk it over with your partner and do what feels right for both of you.

  • Practice safer sex. Use a latex barrier, such as a condom, every time you have sex. Using condoms also reduces your chances of getting STDs.

  • Your family members are safe. HCV can only be spread through contact with infected blood. Touching, kissing, and sharing food are all safe. Do not share anything that may have your blood on it, like a toothbrush or razor. You should also not donate your blood.

  • Most people with HCV don’t die of it. And you can now be cured of it in 12 weeks or less.

  • If you are a woman, you can still breastfeed. If you are being treated for HCV, or if your nipples are cracked or bleeding, you should not breastfeed. Otherwise, breastfeeding with HCV is safe.

  • Women who wish to receive treatment for HCV should let their healthcare provider know if they plan to become pregnant. This is because some medicines can harm an unborn child and must be avoided.

  • You can have HCV and not feel sick. Most people who have it don’t feel sick or have symptoms. Symptoms are most common in later stages of the disease.

Author: StayWell Custom Communications
Last Annual Review Date: 12/1/2016
Copyright © The StayWell Company, LLC. except where otherwise noted.
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