According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), baby boomers (those born between 1945 and 1965) are five times more likely to have hepatitis C than other adults. Astonishingly, most people who have the disease don’t even know they are infected. That’s because people can live with hepatitis C for years and not show any symptoms or have feelings of sickness.
Hepatitis C can lead to serious health complications, including liver damage, cirrhosis and liver cancer. The good news is that there are hepatitis C treatments available that have a cure rate of over 95%. Your health team at UT Health North Campus Tyler is taking a proactive step in testing patients for this liver disease. It’s a simple blood test that can detect the infection. If the test is positive, the right measures can be taken, including treatment.
Who should I be tested for hepatitis C?*
Anyone born between 1945 – 1965.
Anyone who received blood or organs before 1992.
Anyone with abnormal liver tests or liver disease.
Anyone with medical conditions that impact the liver, like liver disease, HIV or AIDS.
Health and safety workers who have been exposed to blood on the job through a needle stick or injury with a sharp object.
Anyone on hemodialysis.
Anyone born to a mother with hepatitis C.
Anyone who has used a needle to inject drugs.
One-time testing for all adults (18 years and older).
All pregnant women during each pregnancy.
Why get tested?*
Hepatitis C affects millions of Americans, but most don’t know it.
It’s estimated that 8 in 10 people with hepatitis C develop a lifelong infection.
There are often no symptoms associated with the disease.
Chronic liver disease and liver cancer caused by Hepatits C are a common reason for liver transplants in the U.S.
Hepatitis C can be treated and cured with medication in the majority of patients with this disease.
What are my next steps?
Make an appointment with your primary care physician in our family medicine clinic or Robert B. Irwin internal medicine clinic on our main campus in Tyler at Highway 271 and 155. Testing can also be done by our family medicine providers at our community clinics in Lindale, Overton, North Tyler or at the Patriot Drive clinic.
Have blood draw by your health team for testing.
If the blood test is positive, seek treatment. You will be referred to our gastroenterology team where they have the expertise to treat hepatitis C.
*Recommendations from the CDC