Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is a form of hepatitis, or 'inflammation of the liver,' caused by a virus known as the hepatitis C virus, or HCV. HCV infection is more common in Europe and the United States than HIV infection. It is estimated that between a quarter and a half million people in the United Kingdom are infected with HCV. Co-infection with HCV and HIV is a growing concern. Experts believe that 15 to 30% of HIV-positive people are also infected with HCV, but among injecting drug users and haemophiliacs, the rate can be as high as 90%.

HCV was first identified in 1989 and is similar to the viruses that cause yellow fever and Dengue fever. It is not related to hepatitis B virus, although it causes similar symptoms. HCV inhabits both the liver and the lymphatic system, and over time it may infect other organs too.

HCV infection can cause slowly progressive, long-term liver disease, ultimately leading to liver tissue damage, scarring (cirrhosis) and liver cancer.

Hepatitis information

For more information on hepatitis visit infohep.org.

Infohep is a project we're working on in partnership with the European Liver Patients Association (ELPA).

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