Were you born between 1945 and 1965? Have you ever been tested for Hepatitis C? If you answered “yes” to the first question and “no” to the second…
…there’s no better time than now to get tested for Hepatitis C.
What is Hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C is a virus transmitted when infected blood from a person with the virus enters the bloodstream of another person through broken skin or mucous membranes.
Why should baby boomers get tested?
- As many as 4 million people in the U.S. have Hepatitis C
- More than 75% of adults with Hepatitis C are baby boomers – that’s millions of boomers
- Most people with a chronic (long-term) Hepatitis C infection won’t show signs or symptoms for months, years, or even decades – so they won’t know they’ve been infected
- Vietnam vets may have been exposed by receiving air-gun inoculations
- Pregnant women before 1992 may have been exposed if they received RhoGAM or similar blood products
- Anyone receiving blood products, tissues, or organ transplants before 1992 may have been exposed
- Anyone who was on hemodialysis before 1992 may have been exposed
So what’s the big deal with Hepatitis C and the liver?
The liver acts as a factory in our bodies, filtering toxins out of our blood, storing energy reserves, and promoting good digestion. Hepatitis C attacks the liver, and if left untreated can cause cirrhosis, liver cancer, and death.
So what’s the good news?
New treatments approved in the last two years to combat the virus means that now, more than 95% of people can be cured.
If you’re a boomer and you’re still reading this, take charge of your health:
- Ask your primary care doctor to test you for Hepatitis C – it’s recommended by the CDC!
- Get tested and know your status – it’s a free medical service under the Affordable Care Act!
- And love your liver!
Several 9Health Fair sites will be offering free Hepatitis C testing services this year. For more information, visit www.9healthfair.org and www.hepc-connection.org.
Want more information? Check out CDC’s “Know More Hepatitis” campaign online: www.cdc.gov/knowmorehepatitis.
If you have questions about Hepatitis C, please call our HelpLine at 1-800-522-HEPC (4372).