Hepatitis C is a condition that can affect the liver. It is caused by a virus that infects the blood. If you or someone you know has the virus, you need to know the symptoms and how it is transmitted. Also, you should know the treatments available for this condition.
Hepatitis C symptoms are characterized by an irregular and often the yellow-tinged appearance of the skin and liver. This results from damage to the liver, which produces proteins that aid blood clotting. In severe cases, hepatitis C can cause liver failure, cirrhosis, and liver cancer. In most cases, symptoms of hepatitis C are mild but can last for months or years.
Acute hepatitis C infection can be asymptomatic for up to six months. In the initial stages, you may experience a few common symptoms, including fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea, and a decreased appetite. You may also experience a rash and an increased tendency to bruise and bleed easily. These symptoms may subside or disappear altogether. Chronic hepatitis C infection, on the other hand, may not cause any noticeable symptoms at all.
If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s best to see a healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis. A health care provider can determine your hepatitis C and recommend a treatment plan. Early diagnosis is essential in preventing the liver from being permanently damaged.
Hepatitis C is most common in adults and has increased over the past decade. In the United States, infection rates tripled between 2010 and 2015. Most infections occur in young people aged twenty to 29. The infection is also prevalent in pregnant women and people who inject drugs.
Transmission of HIV can occur during unprotected sex between two people or through sexual contact with an infected person. It is most commonly transmitted through vaginal and anal fluids but can also occur through shared needles. The virus can also be transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy through the placenta and blood of the mother.
Sexual intercourse is the primary route for HIV infection. Sharing needles and other equipment can also cause infection. The use of condoms and HIV medicine are also essential for preventing the spread of the virus. Using shared needles and injection equipment increases the risk of hepatitis B and C. Another way to transmit HIV is by using an infected person’s mouth to perform an act known as oral sex. Oral sex involves putting the mouth over the penis or vulva. It can also be transmitted through rimming and ejaculation in the mouth, which results in bleeding gums.
HIV-infected babies are at a higher risk of contracting the virus than HIV-infected adults. This is why using antiretroviral drugs during pregnancy and breastfeeding can reduce the risk of transmission of HIV.
Treatment for hepatitis C involves taking a protein called interferon, which helps the body develop a resistance to the virus. Peginterferon alfa-2a, for example, is a common brand name for this medicine, which is injected into the abdominal area once a week. There are also other drugs, including Paritaprevir, an injectable medication.
Researchers have recently conducted several trials to evaluate the effectiveness of direct-acting antiviral (DAA) treatment for HCV. For example, one study evaluated the use of peginterferon alfa-2b in patients with hepatitis C. The researchers concluded that patients who received the drug were less likely to experience a cardiovascular event. The study was presented at the 64th annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases in November 2013.
Hepatitis C treatment is specific for each person’s genotype and strain. This helps your healthcare provider determine the most appropriate treatment for your condition. However, it is essential to remember that the virus stays in the body for life. Therefore, you need to get tested frequently to ensure that you do not have an infection. Hepatitis C testing can be done using a noninvasive procedure that can produce detailed images of the liver. In rare cases, a liver biopsy will be required to assess the extent of liver damage.
Treatment for hepatitis C is generally available at local community pharmacies, although patients may need specialist care for more advanced cases.