World Hepatitis Day takes place every year on July 28th. This year, John Brooks Recovery Center wants to help spread awareness by sharing five facts you may not know about Hepatitis C.
1. Hepatitis C is more common than HIV.
Did you know that more than twice as many Americans are infected with Hepatitis C compared to HIV? This is just one of the many reasons why education and treatment for Hepatitis C is so crucial in our community.
2. You can get Hepatitis C and not know it.
Often when you contract Hepatitis C, it causes a short-term infection with symptoms similar to the flu. These symptoms tend to be mild and are often overlooked. On the other hand, about 80% of people never have symptoms, making it very difficult to recognize the infection.
3. You can have chronic Hepatitis C for 15 years or longer without symptom
Up to 85% of people who have acute Hepatitis C progress to chronic Hepatitis C. Once you have chronic Hepatitis C, you can have it for 15 years or longer before you realize you’re sick.
4. There are six different strains of Hepatitis C.
Not every Hepatitis infection is the same. There are actually six different genotypes (or strains) of the Hepatitis C virus. The most common strain in the United States is Genotype 1, and about 75% of Americans with Hepatitis C have either subtype 1a or subtype 1b.
5. Hepatitis C has a cure
In the past, there were very few treatment options for Hepatitis C. The drugs were hard to tolerate and required months of therapy. However, with the development of new treatment options, more than 90% of people who take these new drug combinations achieve a sustained viral response (SVR). SVR is a virologic cure, meaning that tests can no longer detect Hepatitis C virus six months after treatment ends.
John Brooks Recovery Center has already taken a tremendous step forward with the expansion of our Hepatitis C Program. Learn more about this program and how we are bridging the gap between primary care and opioid treatment today.