Hepatitis C virus is a virus that can cause damage to liver and often lead to chronic hepatitis C which can develop into a serious disease such as cirrhosis and cancer. It is transmitted through sexual and blood contact. Normally, people with HCV will not have any symptoms but common symptoms such as fever, fatigue, nausea/vomiting, stomachache, abdominal pain, pale stools and yellow skin (jaundice)/yellow eyes can also be found.

Transmission

  • • Mother to baby at birth
  • • Sharing needles, syringes or other drug-injection equipment
  • • Condomless sex

Treatment

Acute infection can be resolved without any treatment in some cases. However, over 70% of HCV infection will be chronic and need antiretroviral medications for 12 weeks.

Prevention

  • • Use condom when having sex. Lubricant is recommended for anal sex.
  • • Avoid sharing needles, syringes or other drug-injection equipment with others
  • • Take HCV screening every 6-12 months, especially those who practice anal sex or inject drugs.

Screening/Testing

Anti-HCV is an antibody test. A positive result indicates past or present infection.

  • • If anti-HCV positive, HCV RNA or GeneXpert HCV viral load testing will be required.
  •  HCV RNA or GeneXpert HCV viral load positive indicates present infection and treatment is needed.
  •  HCV RNA or GeneXpert HCV viral load negative indicates a false-positive anti-HCV or past infection.
  • • Anti-HCV negative indicates no HCV infection.

Vaccination

No HCV vaccines available

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