About Hepatitis C & HIV
Hepatitis C is a viral infection that is spread through contaminated blood and causes liver inflammation often leading to serious liver damage and even death. Hepatitis C is the leading infectious disease causing more deaths in Americans than all other infectious diseases combined.
- The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that all adults ages 18 to 79 years be screened for Hepatitis C with a simple blood test, even if you have no symptoms or known risk factors.
- The opioid-dependent group is at high-risk in becoming infected with the Hepatitis C virus. Intravenous drug use is the most common risk factor for Hepatitis C.
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) weakens a person’s immune system by destroying important cells that fight disease and infection. If HIV is not treated, it can lead to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) and death.
Those who struggle with drug and or alcohol abuse may have increased risk factors for transmission.
- About 1 out of 10 new HIV infections in the United States is attributed to injection drug use.
- The HIV virus can be transmitted from a used syringe for up to 42 days.
Hepatitis C Treatment
Fresh Start providers can prescribe safe and effective treatments for Hepatitis C. Chronic Hepatitis C is usually curable with oral medication taken daily for two to six months. Treatment dramatically reduces deaths and progression to cirrhosis or liver cancer, caused by the Hepatitis C virus.
If you feel that you might have Hepatitis C, or have been exposed to Hepatitis C don’t wait…Make an appointment with a Fresh Start provider today.
HIV and PrEP Treatment
There are medications that can control the replication of HIV. With the proper medical care people can live long, healthy lives with HIV. However, there is currently no effective cure for HIV.
In the event of continued risk factors a medication known as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) can be taken daily to prevent HIV from sex or injection drug use. PrEP is safe, and when taken as prescribed PrEP is highly effective at preventing HIV, and it is covered by most health insurance and Medicaid plans.