for Veterans and the Public
Frequently Asked Questions
Hepatitis C General
- What is hepatitis?
- How common is hepatitis C?
- How does hepatitis C progress?
- If you have hepatitis C, should you get a flu shot?
Transmission and Risk
- How is hepatitis C spread?
- Can you get hepatitis C from air gun vaccinations?
- How likely am I to become infected with hepatitis C from a family member living in the same house?
- If you have hepatitis C, can you have sex without infecting your partner?
- Can I get reinfected with hepatitis C?
- Can I donate blood?
- Can a man or woman who has hepatitis C still have children?
- Is it risky for a couple to try to have children if one of the partners has hepatitis C?
- If one of the partners in a couple has hepatitis C, what's the risk to a baby if they try to get pregnant?
Testing and Diagnosis
- What are the tests for hepatitis C?
- Can the results of liver panel tests point to the presence of hepatitis C?
- If I get tested for hepatitis C and the result is positive, do I need any other tests to be sure?
- What does it mean when different types of blood tests for hepatitis C give different results?
- What does high/low viral load mean?
- What is a biopsy?
- Is there a reason to have a liver biopsy done more than once?
- What are genotypes and what do they mean?
- What are the different types of blood tests? How often should I get these tests done?
- Is it true the FDA approved new drugs for hepatitis C?
- Are the new hepatitis C drugs available at the VA?
- Why is it so important to take the new hepatitis C drugs correctly?
- Who can be treated for hepatitis C?
- What treatments are available?
- Why would my doctor not start me on treatment?
- How often is treatment successful?
- What is the difference between "relapse" and "nonresponse?"
- Can I take interferon and ribavirin a second time, if my first course of treatment didn't work?
Treatment Side Effects
- What are the side effects of treatment?
- How many people on interferon quit treatment early?
- Ever since I started treatment for hepatitis C, I have had a terrible cough. What can I do about it?
- Do interferon and ribavirin cause depression?
- Can interferon and ribavirin cause weight changes?
- If I have hepatitis C infection, does this mean I am going to get diabetes?
- Can treatment kill you?
- I had a bad reaction to interferon years ago. Is it worth taking it again?
Living with Hepatitis C
- Are there supplements that are good for my liver?
- Are there supplements that are bad for my liver?
- What about herbal remedies?
Use of Other Drugs and Alcohol
- Can I drink alcohol once in a while if I have hepatitis C?
- Is it safe to take aspirin or Tylenol if I have hepatitis C?
- How do I tell someone I have hepatitis C?
- Where can my family and I get support?
- How can I make a difference for people with hepatitis C?
- What is cirrhosis?
- How do I know if I have cirrhosis if I feel well?
- If I have cirrhosis, is there anything I can do to reverse it?
- Don't you have to be a drinker to get cirrhosis?
- If you have cirrhosis, won't you look yellow?
- If you have cirrhosis, are there any medications you need to avoid?
- If you have cirrhosis from hepatitis C, are there certain tests that you need to have?
- How do I know if I need a transplant?
- Will hepatitis C infection go away after transplant?
- What is the survival rate after liver transplantation?