This month at Unity Care NW, we’re talking about hepatitis. World Hepatitis Day is July 28, a day to raise awareness about viral hepatitis. There are several types of hepatitis, the most common being A, B, and C. Each type of viral hepatitis is spread in different ways, but they all affect the liver and can cause serious health problems. The good news is that hepatitis A and B are preventable with a vaccine, and hepatitis C is treatable thanks to several different medications that have been developed in recent years.
Here’s what we know about Hepatitis C:
- The majority of people with Hepatitis C don’t know they have it.
- In the United States, more people die every year from Hepatitis C than from HIV.
- Baby boomers, those born between 1945 and 1965, account for approximately 75 percent of all hepatitis C infections in the United States.
- One in 30 baby boomers is infected with Hepatitis C.
- Hepatitis C increases the risk of death from other diseases, such as heart disease, stroke and cancer.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends hepatitis C testing for anyone who:
- Was born between 1945 and 1965
- Received donated blood or organs before 1992
- Have ever injected drugs, even if it was just once many years ago
- Have certain medical conditions, such as chronic liver disease, HIV, or AIDS
- A full list of hepatitis C risk factors can be found here.
Learn more about hepatitis here.