HCV Facts and Statistics

General Facts:

  • Hepatitis C, hep C, or HCV is an infection that causes liver inflammation
  • Main method of transmission is through blood contact with an infected individual, specifically through sharing needles
  • Diagnosis is made through a blood test

High Risk Groups:

  • Baby boomer, those born between 1945-1965
  • Those who have received blood products with clotting factor before 1987
  • Those who have received blood transfusion or organ transplant before July 1992
  • Those who have ever injected drugs
  • Those who have HIV
  • Those who have been on kidney dialysis for several years
  • Health or public safety workers who have been stuck with a needle or other sharp object with blood from an unknown hep C status
  • Those born to a mother with hep C

Symptoms: 70-80 percent of the infected do not know their status, since it may take years for these symptoms to arise.

  • Yellowing skin and eyes
  • Dark urine
  • Light-colored stools
  • Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and discomfort
  • Loss of appetite
  • Extreme fatigue

Long Term Effects of Not Being Treated:

  • 75-85% of those with HCV will develop chronic illness
  • Within those with chronic HCV:
    • 1-5% will die from cirrhosis or liver cancer
    • 60-70% will develop chronic liver disease
    • 5-20% will develop cirrhosis of the liver