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.