Hepatitis C

Grace and peace.

If you have / had any tattoos or piercings, please take yourself to get tested for hepatitis C. Hepatitis C is a blood borne virus that affects the liver and can be spread through contaminated needles. If you have any tattoos or piercings, please take yourself to a doctor and get tested for hepatitis. It is not as rare as people would like to think it is, and many times there is the thought of, “It will never happen to me”. But do know that if everyone thinks that, someone has to be wrong because hepatitis C does get spread. Also, even if you don’t FEEL sick, the CDC states that many people who are infected never have symptoms and therefore never come to the attention of medical or public health officials. The CDC also states:

An estimated 3.2 million persons in the United States have chronic hepatitis C virus infection. Most people do not know they are infected because they don’t look or feel sick.

It can get pretty serious… So think of it this way – Let’s say you have had it for a year or so, no symptoms… well:

Hepatitis C can cause damage to your liver, even if you don’t have symptoms. You’re also able to pass the virus to others without having any symptoms yourself.

Most people infected with HCV (Hepatitis C virus) develop chronic hepatitis. Some people infected with hepatitis C develop cirrhosis, usually within 20 to 30 years after infection. This risk is higher and the progression is faster if you also have HIV infection. Of those who develop cirrhosis, the risk of developing liver failure is about 4 percent a year. In addition, between 1 percent and 5 percent of people with HCV eventually develop liver cancer.

HCV also may increase the risk of developing several types of lymphatic system cancers (lymphomas). Your risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, for example, may increase by 20 percent to 30 percent. Rarely, HCV infection can be associated with skin and kidney problems. The hepatitis C virus is linked to an increased risk of porphyria cutanea tarda, a condition that may cause a blistering rash, to cryoglobulinemia, which can cause a purplish rash (purpura) on your lower extremities, and may cause kidney damage.

Over time, if you have a hepatitis C infection, it can lead to liver cancer, liver failure or cirrhosis — irreversible and potentially fatal scarring of the liver.

So, please, be wise and get tested.

Check out HepCnet for more information.

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2 thoughts on “Hepatitis C

  1. Kristina says:

    Thank you for your effort to make HCV part of your Blog and bring attention to it. Far too often it is overshadowed by the stigma that we are all IV drug users who live in filth and squander. However, I would like to make you aware that your statistics come from 1994 and therefore are a little off. As of 2007, according to the ALF more than four million Americans have been infected with hepatitis C; it is responsible for 8,000-10,000 deaths annually…
    http://www.liverfoundation.org/education/info/hepatitisc/
    Also, while Tattoos, piercings, and contaminated needles certainly can cause HCV transmission there are many other ways you should let people know they can catch it and some common ways they cannot! HCV is contracted by blood only! It is not in saliva, sweat, tears, semen, or vaginal fluids 9unless blood is present). Rarely is it contracted via sex and IS NOT a reportable STD. People who are monogamous are told there is no need for protection & many couple shave been married to an infected partner for 25 years, never used protection, and never contracted the disease. Only if bleeding is involved with the other partner having an open wound could this happen. As for other routes that can cause transmission they include:
    Anyone who was exposed to the blood of an infected person is at risk of having hepatitis C. You should talk to a doctor about getting tested for the disease if you:

    * Ever used illegal intravenous drugs or cocaine
    * Ever shared drug paraphernalia such as straws, or other devices to snort drugs
    * Received a blood transfusion or organ transplant prior to 1992, or a clotting factor made before 1987
    * Received long-term hemodialysis
    * Have persistently abnormal liver enzyme levels
    * Are a health care, emergency medical and public safety worker exposed to needle sticks or other sources of HCV-positive blood
    * Were born to an HCV-infected mother
    * Have had unprotected sex with multiple partners or have a history of sexually transmitted disease which could cause open sores on both parties
    * Received tattoos or body piercings with unsterilized needles, especially in an unregulated setting as you mentioned
    * Have household exposure, through the sharing of razors, tooth-brushes or other personal items with an HCV-infected person
    Thanks again and I hope you weren’t offended by this I just want to pass along as much correct info as I can & I see so much info on the net that is wrong. I have HCV which I contracted as an RN while at work via a needle stick and was one of the few who developed liver cancer from it. I was diagnosed last year and the life expectancy without a transplant is a 5% survival rate for the first year & 1% live for 5 years so time is of the essence for many of us and we pray for a cure before its too late.

  2. LENZ one says:

    Thanks for sharing, sis. Is there any way that I can forward this?

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