Hepatitis C may have no symptoms, but can have severe impacts.

What is hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C virus, or HCV, is a viral infection that affects the liver. The virus is transmitted when someone comes in contact with the blood of an infected person.

Many people with hepatitis C have no symptoms, but if left untreated, the virus can have severe impacts on your health. These include liver disease, liver cancer, and premature death. Hepatitis C causes more deaths per year than HIV, hepatitis B, and tuberculosis combined.

What can I do to protect myself?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends you:

  • Do not use personal items that may have come in contact with an infected person’s blood, such as glucose monitors, razors, nail clippers, or toothbrushes.
  • Do not get tattoos or body piercings from an unlicensed facility or in an informal setting.
  • Use condoms during sex.
  • Avoid sharing or reusing needles, syringes, or any other equipment used to prepare and inject drugs, steroids, hormones, or other substances.

How do I know if I have hepatitis C?

Getting tested is the only way to know if you have hepatitis C. The CDC recommends all adults get tested for hepatitis C at least once in their lifetime and that pregnant individuals get tested during each pregnancy. If you’re unsure of your hepatitis C status, ask your doctor on your next visit.

I have hepatitis C. How can I get treated?

Consult with your primary care provider to develop a treatment plan. Treatment for hepatitis C is simple and effective. Direct-acting antiviral drugs can eliminate hepatitis C in just 8 to 12 weeks.

Washington’s commitment to ending hepatitis C

In 2018, Governor Inslee announced a plan to eliminate hepatitis C in Washington State by 2030. With highly effec­tive treatments widely available in our state, we can reach this milestone. Everyone deserves to live a healthy life. That starts by getting tested.

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