Usually transmitted through contact with infected blood, either through sharing needles or childbirth, hepatitis C virus (HCV) can also be transmitted sexually. Over the course of several years, HCV can lead to severe liver damage. There are treatments that appear to cure the disease for at least 70 percent of people living with HCV. There is currently no vaccine to protect against HCV.
If you're living with HCV, but not HIV (the virus that causes AIDS), begin learning about the infection, its role in causing liver disease and its treatment starting with the following page:
What is hepatitis C?
If you are living with both HCV and HIV, we have prepared a separate series of lesson pages, given that hepatitis C can be even more serious and generally involves different treatment strategies in people coinfected with HIV. Begin learning more with the following page:
What is HIV and HCV Coinfection?