Learn how to prevent hepatitis C, where to get tested, and how to get treatment.
What is hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus. The virus is transmitted when someone comes into contact with blood from an infected person. There is no vaccine. Many people with hepatitis C do not have symptoms and do not know they are infected.
Left untreated, hepatitis C can have severe impacts on your health, including liver disease, liver cancer, and premature death. Hepatitis C causes more deaths per year than HIV, hepatitis B, and tuberculosis combined.
Preventing hepatitis C
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends you:
- Avoid sharing or reusing needles, syringes, or any other equipment used to prepare and inject drugs, steroids, hormones, or other substances.
- Do not use personal items that may have come into contact with an infected person’s blood, such as glucose monitors, razors, nail clippers, or toothbrushes.
- Do not get tattoos or body piercings from an unlicensed facility or in an informal setting.
How to get tested
The CDC recommends getting tested at least once if you are 18 years of age or older, including getting tested during each pregnancy. Getting tested is the only way to know if you have hepatitis C.
Where to get tested
Any provider licensed to prescribe direct-acting antiviral medications is allowed to screen and treat Apple Health members. This includes primary care providers, substance use disorder treatment facilities, and others. If you receive Apple Health managed care, contact your health plan to find a provider near you.
How to get treatment
Hepatitis C is a serious but curable disease. Direct-acting antiviral medications can cure hepatitis C in as little as 8 weeks. Nine out of 10 people who receive treatment are cured. Those cured are less likely to develop liver cancer or long-term liver complications and are not able to spread the virus to others.