Hepatitis C is a virus which is spread by blood-to-blood contact.
Most people with hepatitis C get it by sharing injecting equipment like needles and syringes. You can get hepatitis C even if you only share needles or other equipment once.
Most people don’t realise they have hepatitis C because they don’t have any symptoms at first. People with chronic (long term) hepatitis C can experience:
- loss of appetite
- joint pain
- mood swings.
If it isn’t treated, hepatitis C can lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer, liver failure and death.
Effective new treatments for hepatitis C are available, which have a shorter treatment course and have fewer side effects than treatments which were available until recently.
For most people, the treatments that are available for hepatitis C will clear the virus from their body. The treatment is generally in the form of a tablet which needs to be taken daily for 12 weeks. If you have been treated, you can get hepatitis C again, so you always need to protect yourself.