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Hepatitis C
• Regular testing and monitoring is important for persons with hepatitis C infection. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the major cause of chronic liver disease. There is no vaccination for hepatitis C, however there is treatment.

• Hepatitis C is primarily spread by direct contact with human blood, such as blood transfusions, use of blood products, or sharing needles, razors, toothbrushes, or earrings.

• People with hepatitis C infection typically experience no symptoms whatsoever. The symptoms of hepatitis C infection, when present include tiredness, nausea, fever, loss of appetite, stomach pain, and/or diarrhea. Additional signs are jaundice (yellow eyes or skin), dark yellow urine, and light-colored stools.

• Most people who contract hepatitis C infection will develop a chronic infection.

• There is no vaccine for hepatitis C. Treatment does exist for hepatitis C and some people can be cured. Antiviral drugs such as interferon used alone or in combination with ribavirin are approved for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C infection.

• Today testing for hepatitis C infection and treating blood products with more effective killing agents has essentially eliminated the spread of hepatitis C infection through blood products. In fact, no cases of hepatitis C transmission through use of commercially prepared inactivated concentrates have been reported in the U.S. since 1991.

• Despite the progress in preventing hepatitis C infection, CDC recommends testing of all persons who have received blood products. Free blood testing is availablethrough participation in CDC's Universal Data Collection program offered by your treatment center.

For more information on each fact sheet or to locate a hemophilia treatment center near you, contact NHF's information service, HANDI, at 800-42-HANDI or