Hepatitis C Program
What is hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C, also known as Hep C or HCV, is a treatable viral infection spread by contact with blood from a person with hepatitis C. Without treatment, hep C damages the liver, causing scars (cirrhosis) that make it difficult for the liver to function correctly. Over time, hepatitis C can cause liver cancer or stop the liver from functioning.
Hep C may not have any symptoms for years or even decades. Getting tested is the best way to find out if you have it.
What are the risk factors for hepatitis C?
The possibility of hepatitis C infection is greater for people who:
- Share syringes, cookers, cotton or other injection equipment
- Share snorting straws or crack pipes
- Were born between the years of 1945 and 1965
- Received a blood transfusion or organ transplant before 1992
- Share tattoo or piercing equipment that has not been properly cleaned
- Share personal items such as toothbrushes, razors, or nail clippers
- Are HIV+
- Have been incarcerated.
How to protect yourself from hepatitis C:
- Don’t share syringes or other injecting or snorting equipment
- Don’t share personal hygiene items such as razors, toothbrushes or nail clippers
- Practice safe sex and use condoms
- Make sure all tattoos and piercings are done by professionals trained in proper sterilization techniques.
There are new medications available that can treat hepatitis C in as little as 8 to 24 weeks with little or no side effects. These medications are covered by most insurance, including Medi-Cal. Talk to your doctor about what treatment is best for you.
Identifying undiagnosed hepatitis C infections is one of the most effective tools at preventing the spread of this virus. Testing services are available at the following locations:
(Please call for times and possible fees.)
Your Medical Provider
Humboldt County Public Health Clinic
North Coast AIDS Project (NorCAP)
Humboldt Area Center for Harm Reduction (HACHR)
United Indian Health Services
Open Door Mobile Health Services
Redwoods Rural Health Center in Redway
Southern Humboldt Community Clinic in Garberville
K’ima:w Medical Center – Hoopa
Health Education Specialist, Hepatitis C