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JoAnn Thompson
Executive Director

American Liver Foundation
127 Washington Avenue
North Haven, CT 06473
203-234-2022 Tel
203-234-1386 Fax

American Liver Foundation
39 Broadway, Suite 2700
New York, New York 10006
212-668-1000 Tel
212-483-8179 Fax

Hepatitis C: Do You Know the Risks?

Hepatitis C is contagious and is spread blood to blood. Hepatitis C is sometimes called a “silent epidemic” because it affects so many people but usually has no symptoms. It is not uncommon for someone to have hepatitis C for decades before being diagnosed. Most people with hepatitis C are unable to fight the disease through their immune systems and need medical treatment to be cured. Left undiagnosed and untreated, hepatitis C can cause cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver, liver cancer, liver failure and the need for liver transplant.

There are many risk factors for hepatitis C. In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) added a recommendation that all baby boomers be tested for hepatitis C because they are one of the largest populations affected by the disease.

The CDC now recommends hepatitis C blood testing for the following people:

  • "Baby Boomers" (people born between 1945 and 1965)
  • Anyone who has ever injected illegal drugs -- even once
  • Anyone who has received blood transfusions or solid organ transplants prior to 1992
  • Anyone who recevied clotting factor concentrates made before 1987
  • People who have ever received long-term hemodialysis for kidney failure
  • Healthcare workers after accidental needle sticks
  • People with HIV
  • People with lab results showing abnormal liver enzyme tests
  • Anyone who was born to a mother with hepatitis C

Medications now used to treat people with hepatitis C are curing up to 99% of those with the disease. American Liver Foundation urges you to speak to your family doctor or any other medical professional to schedule your hepatitis C blood test today. For more information about diagnosis, treatment and support, visit the or call our HelpLine at 1-800-GO-LIVER.


Viral hepatitis affects approximately 400 million people around the world. World Hepatitis Day is July 28, 2016. According to the World Hepatitis Alliance, "Millions of people across the world now take part in World Hepatitis Day to raise awareness about viral hepatitis, and to call for access to treatment, better prevention programs and government action." As World Hepatitis Day approaches, log onto and check back at for more information about events and advocacy taking place on behalf of patients.

Page updated: November 10th, 2015