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Understanding Hep C:
What it is, and who’s at risk

Hep C is a serious liver disease

Hepatitis C, or “Hep C” for short, is a contagious form of liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus. Over time, the virus damages healthy liver cells, which can lead to scarring of the liver (cirrhosis), liver cancer, or even liver failure. The good news is that Hep C is manageable, and if caught early enough, even curable.

 

Fast facts about Hep C

Hep C can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, lifelong illness.

 

About 75% to 85% of the people infected with Hep C will develop chronic infection. Of those people:

  • 60% to 70% will develop chronic liver disease
  • 5% to 20% will develop cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver
  • 1% to 5% will die of liver cancer or cirrhosis

About 20,000 people died from Hep C in 2014.

 

Hep C is the #1 cause of liver transplants.

 

If caught in time, Hep C is curable for most people, and the treatment is simple and treatable.

If you’re a baby boomer, you’re at risk.

Although anyone can get Hep C, it’s far more common in baby boomers (people born between 1945 and 1965). In fact, more than 75% of adults infected with Hep C are baby boomers. Most infected boomers are believed to have become infected in the 1970s and 1980s when rates of Hep C transmission were high.

Know where you stand.

Take this simple quiz to find out if you're
at a heightened risk for Hep C.
 

If you’re a baby boomer, you're 5 times more likely to have Hep C, even if you think you haven’t engaged in any "risky" behaviors.

You could be infected—and not even know it.

Request the test.

Remember to ask your doctor about Hep C testing, sign up for the Hep C test reminder.

Hep C is a “silent disease” because symptoms can take decades to develop. When they finally do appear, it’s usually a sign of serious liver problems. Though people with the hepatitis C virus may seem healthy, liver damage is often happening silently.

 

Over 3 million people in the United States have a chronic (longtime) hepatitis C virus infection. Most people don’t know they’re infected because they don’t look or feel sick.

The good news? Hep C is curable.

Symptoms are common to other illnesses. That’s why Hep C testing is so critical—and why many health guidelines now recommend that more people get tested. If caught in time, Hep C can be cured—and the treatment is simple. Health officials estimate that one-time testing of all baby boomers will prevent more than 120,000 deaths. Learn more about Hep C tests and treatment.

 

Hep C testing is recommended
by the CDC.

The CDC and other health officials recommend one-time Hep C testing for all baby boomers. Learn more.
 

Testing involves a simple blood draw, making it easy to find out your Hep C status.
Find out how you can prepare for your visit to one of our Hep C test locations.