“Hepatitis” means inflammation of the liver and also refers to a group of viral infections that affect the liver. Hepatitis C is the most common type in the United States. Hepatitis C can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, lifelong illness. Hepatitis C is more prevalent in the African American population than in any other racial group in the United States. READ: Experts Release Landmark Hepatitis C Findings Related To Blacks READ: Blood Transfusions: What Are The Risks? Hepatitis C infection is a major public health concern for people of all races, and it has become one of the leading causes of death associated with liver cancer in the United States. Since hepatitis C often does not have any symptoms, it is critical that people are tested to find out if they have the disease. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent liver damage, cirrhosis, and even liver cancer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has an easy-to-use online risk assessment that can help you figure out if you need to talk to your doctor about getting tested for Hepatitis C or other types of hepatitis. It can also suggest if you could benefit from Hepatitis A or B vaccination. Testing for hepatitis consists of a simple blood test that can determine if a person has ever been exposed to the virus. CDC recommends anyone, regardless of race or ethnicity, who was born from 1945-1965 (“baby boomers”) get tested for Hepatitis C. READ: How To Cope With Hepatitis C Hepatitis C is usually spread when blood from a person infected with Hepatitis C enters the body of someone who is not infected. Today, most people get Hepatitis C from sharing equipment for injecting drugs. In the past, many people got Hepatitis C from receiving contaminated blood transfusions or organ transplants before widespread screening in 1992. Getting a needlestick injury or being born to a mother who has Hepatitis C can also put people at risk for Hepatitis C. Although uncommon, Hepatitis C can also be spread through sex. The virus seems to be more easily spread through sex when a person also has HIV or an STD. READ: Hepatitis C In Barbershops & Salons? Since there is no vaccine for Hepatitis C, the best way to prevent infection is by avoiding behaviors that can spread the virus. Getting tested for the disease also can help people infected with the virus to take steps to prevent the spread of the disease. Remember that early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent liver damage, cirrhosis, and even liver cancer. By Dr. Hazel Dean, Deputy Director, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Twitter: @DrDeanCDC
Hepatitis C In The Black Community
The Latest In
4 Tips To Avoid Complications With Seasonal Allergies
Many individuals experience discomfort due to seasonal allergies. The severity of COPD is increased by the presence of any other ailment that makes breathing harder. Research conducted in 2012 at the Johns Hopkins Allergy and Asthma Center found that the read more about 4 Tips To Avoid Complications With Seasonal Allergies
Metamucil’s 2-Week Challenge: Sheryl Underwood’s Secret to Better Health
When comedian Sheryl Underwood's lab work came back with words like pre-diabetes, diabetes and hypertension, it was her wake-up call. Although the 59-year-old was exploring drastic weight loss options, she knew would need to tackle her digestive health first to read more about Metamucil’s 2-Week Challenge: Sheryl Underwood’s Secret to Better Health
6 Tips For Rebuilding Intimacy After Breast Cancer
Cancer may influence how you feel about your body and what you like. You may repair intimacy through self-reflection, physical intervention, communication, and patience. After a breast cancer diagnosis, sex is probably the last thing on your mind. Instead, you read more about 6 Tips For Rebuilding Intimacy After Breast Cancer
Celebrate Young Black Women with Save A Girl, Save A World
Did you know that someone you have never met before, is wondering what it would be like to know someone as amazing, beautiful and capable as you? Queen, have you been hiding your light from the world, fearful that it read more about Celebrate Young Black Women with Save A Girl, Save A World
De-Stress In 60 Minutes Or Less!
No matter how great (or not-so-great) your life is going, stress can always find a way to work its way into the mix. According to Harvard Health Publishing, when stress strikes, your hypothalamus shoots out stress hormones that speed up your read more about De-Stress In 60 Minutes Or Less!
Top Tips on Getting Involved On Campus
Getting involved on campus can seem overwhelming, especially as a first-year student. As incoming college students, it can become difficult to navigate getting involved with several organizations and balancing school work. Whether it is two organizations or four, college students read more about Top Tips on Getting Involved On Campus