Hepatitis C — Testing, Detection, Treatment

\"HepatitisHepatitis C is a virus and infectious disease that can be spread a variety of ways, but rarely is it contracted sexually. Symptoms of the disease are uncommon until the liver begins to fail and present further problems.

People at risk for Hepatitis C should be screened for the disease. Unless a new onset risk factor presents itself, one screening is all the average patient will need over their lifetime. Risk factors for contracting Hepatitis C include:

  • The use of IV drugs
  • Receiving blood transfusion
  • Sexual contact with someone who is Hepatitis C positive
  • Previously contracting any other form of Hepatitis
  • Receiving a tattoo in an unclean/uncertified/uninspected facility from an unlicensed artist
  • The use of intranasal Cocaine or drug abuse in general

Even if these particular risk-inducing experiences took place over a decade ago, and a patient exhibits no symptoms of being sick, it is imperative to be tested for Hepatitis C. And, unlike most sexually transmitted diseases, Hepatitis C is not necessarily an indicator for other diseases like chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and herpes.

Dependent on a few factors, if a patient is confirmed to have Hepatitis C, the disease can be treated. Treatments for Hepatitis C are very expensive, but mostly covered by insurance. While the disease was untreatable for years and symptoms could only be suppressed, there is now a 12-week treatment program available.

This is not a disease to ignore, as if left untreated, it can result in the scarring, and later failing, of the liver. The scarring and deterioration process can take place over a couple decades, which is why the disease can go unnoticed and exhibit no symptoms for so long. However, this is also what makes the disease dangerous.

If you believe you are at risk for Hepatitis C, contact Colorado Primary Health Care to administer a simple blood test, and take control of your health today!

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