Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV), which is found in the blood of persons who have this infection. The infection is spread by contact with the blood or body secretions of an infected person.
How serious is hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C is serious for some persons, but not for others. Most persons who get hepatitis C carry the virus for many years. Most of these persons have some liver damage but many do not feel sick. Some persons with liver damage due to hepatitis C may develop cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver and liver failure, which may take many years to develop. Some even go on to develop liver cancer. Others have little long term effects.
What can I do if my hepatitis C test is positive?
Contact your doctor, as additional testing may be needed to confirm a diagnosis, to verify if you have liver damage, and for consideration of any treatment. Additionally, if confirmed, you would be counseled on ways to prevent spreading HCV to others.