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Viral Hepatitis and Liver Disease


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Understand Your Diagnosis

for Veterans and the Public

Understand your diagnosis - Hepatitis C for Patients

When your doctor tells you that you have hepatitis C, it means that you have been infected with the hepatitis C virus (or HCV, for short).

You probably got hepatitis C by coming in contact with the blood of another person who is infected. Some of the ways this might have happened include the following:

  • You had a blood transfusion or organ transplant before 1991.
  • You shared needles or works to inject drugs, even if it was only once or many years ago.
  • You were on long-term kidney dialysis.
  • You were a health care worker and had contact with blood on the job.
  • Your mother had hepatitis C when she gave birth to you.
  • You have had many sexual partners.
  • You have had tattoos and body piercings.

Don't waste too much time and energy trying to figure out how you got infected, or blaming someone or something that happened in the past. It is important that now you focus your energy on dealing with the infection and working with your VA doctor to get better.