Hepatitis C is a liver infection caused by the Hepatitis C virus. For some people it is a short-term illness, but for 75-85% of people who become infected, it becomes a long-term, chronic infection. Chronic Hepatitis C is a serious disease that can result in long-term health problems, like liver damage, cirrhosis (scarring of the liver), liver cancer, and even death.
Most people with Hepatitis C don’t know they are infected. Anyone at any age can get Hepatitis C. Risk factors include:
- Current and past injection drug users, including those who injected only one time or many years ago
- People who received donated blood, blood products and organs before 1992
- People who received body piercings or tattoos done with non-sterile instruments
- People living with HIV