Embracing treatment with openness and acceptance helps patients live fully.
For some people, the social perception of being diagnosed with hepatitis C can be more damaging than the virus itself.
This is why EvergreenHealth Infectious Disease expert Dr. Diego Lopez de Castilla emphasizes openness and acceptance in his approach to treating patients from all backgrounds who might live with hepatitis C.
“As health care providers, we need to work toward eliminating the stigma surrounding hepatitis C,” said Dr. Lopez de Castilla. “It’s not always regular drug users that become infected—patients may contract it from a contaminated tattoo needle, or even by experimenting with drugs just once 20 years ago.”
What is Hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C is an infection caused by a virus that attacks and inflames the liver. It can cause liver swelling (inflammation) and can sometimes lead to severe liver damage including cirrhosis and liver failure.
The virus is spread through contact with the blood of an infected person, most commonly through the sharing of needles/syringes or sexual contact.
Who should get tested for Hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C is not easily detected, which can lead to dangerous health concerns if left untreated.
You should be tested for Hepatitis C if you:
- are a current or former injection drug user
- are living with HIV/AIDS
- have had abnormal liver tests or liver disease
- received donated blood or organs before 1992
- are on hemodialysis
- were born between 1945 and 1965
How is chronic hepatitis C treated?
Medications, called antivirals, can be used to treat many people with chronic Hepatitis C.
It is important to be checked by a doctor who is experienced in treating chronic Hepatitis C to determine what course of treatment is best for you and your care plan.
Can Hepatitis C be cured?
For most patients, hepatitis C can be cured in just 8 to 12 weeks of treatment with minimal side effects. The treatment is 90 percent effective at curing the virus.
EvergreenHealth Infectious Disease providers offer the best available treatments to fight the virus that causes hepatitis C and we are committed to helping you return to your best possible health.
If you are interested in learning more about Hepatitis C treatment, please call 425-899-5100 to make an appointment with one of our experienced health partners.