Hepatitis C Challenge: Hep C Caring Ambassadors Program
HepC Choices

HCV Facts

The Hepatitis C Crisis

Hepatitis C is the most common, chronic blood-borne viral infection in the U.S. 

  • An estimated 5 million Americans have been infected with the hepatitis C virus.
  • 2 out of 3 people are unaware that they have the virus.
  • Hepatitis C can show no symptoms until advanced liver damage develops.
  • There is no vaccine to protect against hepatitis C infection.
  • Early diagnosis is essential to controlling the spread of
    hepatitis C.
  • Hepatitis C is a treatable disease if identified before significant complications develop.
  • Regardless of what treatment choice a person makes, it is recommended that:
    • Individuals with HCV should avoid all use of alcohol and recreational drugs.
    • Individuals with HCV should be vaccinated against hepatitis A and hepatitis B.
  • Chronic liver disease is among the top ten killers of Americans 25 years of age and older.
  • Hepatitis C is the most common cause of chronic liver disease in the U.S. accounting for 40-60% of all cases.
  • Hepatitis C is the most common indication for adult liver transplantation in the United States.
  • Complications associated with HCV-related cirrhosis are projected to increase dramatically in the next decade - liver failure by 106%, liver cancer by 81%, and liver-related deaths by 180%.
  • HCV-related end-stage liver disease is a leading cause of death among people coinfected with HIV.
  • The social and fiscal costs of HCV are skyrocketing. The projected costs of the current HCV epidemic, if left unchecked, will be over $85 billion for the next decade.
  • Inadequate funding has seriously impaired HCV prevention and control efforts. Coordinated national, state, and local programs with consistent, sustained funding are essential to mount an effective response to the hepatitis C epidemic.
  • Adequately funded research is a critical component of HCV prevention and control.
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Hepatitis C can show no symptoms until advanced liver damage develops.

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