Kentucky has the highest incidence of Hepatitis C – a rate 7x the national average. If left untreated, it can cause cirrhosis, liver cancer, liver failure or death. Making matters worse is most people with Hep C do not know they are infected because the virus often causes no symptoms until advanced liver disease develops. The only way to be free from Hep C is to first be tested.
You should be tested for Hep C if you:
Are a current or former drug user who used needles to inject, even if you only did this one time or did it many years ago
Have a sex partner who has chronic Hep C or have had many sex partners
Had your blood filtered by a machine (hemodialysis) for a long period of time because your kidneys weren’t working
Received a blood transfusion or organ transplant from a donor before July 1992
Received a blood clotting factor to treat a bleeding disorder (like hemophilia) before 1987
Are a healthcare worker and were exposed to blood through a needle stick or had other contact with blood or bodily fluids
Have evidence of liver disease, such as abnormal liver tests
Were born between 1945 and 1965. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a one-time screening for all baby boomers.