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:
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.
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at a heightened risk for Hep C.
You could be infected—and not even know it.
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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.
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 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.